Hungry

What you’re eating has a huge impact on your weight and fitness goals. If you’ve hit a plateau on any of those goals, it may be worth it to take a look at what you’re eating and especially when you’re eating it. You’ll find that you may be eating for a lot of reasons other than being hungry and those extra snacks are seriously impacting your goals.

1. Are you upset or emotional?

emotional

Many things can trigger you to feel hungry and want to eat when you’re feeling a strong emotion. Many of us eat for comfort. When you’re emotional or upset, your brain remembers that food usually comforts you, and so gives you the desire to eat. Unfortunately, most comfort food is not the healthiest food ever (chocolate cake and mac and cheese anyone). The best way to combat this is to acknowledge the emotion and try to work through it. Write in a journal. Read a book or watch your favorite show. Talk to someone.

2. Are you stressed?

stressed

Stress causes the body to release a flood of various chemicals in your body. These chemicals are ostensibly designed to help you get out of whatever stressful situation you’re in. However, it evolved for stressful situations like having to run away from a wild animal, not for that report that your coworker just won’t do but you need to do your part in a huge project. Constant stress can lead to mindless snacking on anything around as a way to relax. Unfortunately, snacking doesn’t really help reduce stress. And even worse, stress hormones lead to your body retaining more calories which leads to weight gain. Attacking your sources of stress at the root and dealing with them is a much more effective and long-lasting way to eliminate stress (and the desire to stress eat).