Stress and Overeating!

Nowadays, many people consider themselves as ‘stress eaters’. In fact, 3% of Americans are characterized as ‘binge eaters’ (1). Most individuals do face stressful events, but not everyone copes the same way. Some will have a tendency to drink alcohol, smoke, consume drugs or have different habits. In general, people will mainly overeat, especially food high in sugar and/or fat when feeling stressed.

Firstly, it is important to understand the relationship between stress and overeating. Does stress cause someone to overeat? Or does overeating cause someone to feel stressed? To help illustrate this mechanism, some may have a bigger appetite in certain situations which in turn causes overeating or ‘binge eating’ and make them feel more stressed. On the other hand, some may already feel stressed due to certain factors which will then result in ‘binge eating’. In consequence, binge eating can cause an increase in body weight which is related to many health conditions such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and other chronic problems (1). People who binge eat also have a higher risk of suffering from depression and other mental illnesses (1). 

After understanding the relation between stress and overeating, it is crucial to target the triggers that cause someone to overeat. Is it stress itself? Is it personal issues? Is it problems occurring at work? In brief, every individual comes from a different environment and faces different life events that may cause them to overeat.  

In conclusion, there are many factors that can have an influence on overeating. Therefore, it is important to seek health professionals advice focused on that area of practice. A multidisciplinary team composed of a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Registered Dietitian, Psychotherapist, Rehabilitation specialist and Registered Nurse are usually the best advisors to help improve people’s lifestyle if living with an eating disorder or disordered eating. If you feel that you are a overeating when stressed, do not hesitate to contact your SNC’s Registered Dietitian and get the help you need to develop healthy eating strategies. Do not forget to enjoy every meal with pleasure and in moderation! -SNC-     



Keywords: binge eating, overeating, stress, montreal dietitian, nutritionist near me, pointe-claire nutritionist


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