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Stress: Making Our Body Feel "Safe"

Why you may CRAVE those midday Oreos...

Believe it or not, stress can be a huge factor when taking a glance at our daily food intake. When we become stressed, we may look for ways to cope with that stress (depending on the severity of the stressor). The consumption of food (especially foods that we really enjoy) leads to a dopamine response in our brain. Dopamine is a chemical released by cells that is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. If we are highly stressed, we are really going to want that dopamine response in order to lessen those feelings of stress. If we have a constant stressor, we might turn to ineffective eating habits in order to continue that dopamine response, which could hinder any long-term nutrition goals. Before becoming angry at yourself for feeling dependent on that midday sleeve of Oreos, ask yourself what actions/mindset may be setting you up to physically need the chemical response from those Oreos.

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