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How to keep stress eating from causing weight gain

how-to-keep-stress-eating-from-causing-weight-gain_300Many people who react to stress by eating junk food gain weight when their lives are hectic. But researchers have uncovered a way of making your stress reactions healthier.

The trick is to change your eating habits before stress strikes. A study at Empirica Research shows that stress doesn’t make you change your food habits; it just makes you keep eating what you always consume.

“Habits don’t change in a high-pressure situation,” says researcher David Neal. “People default to what their habits are under stress, whether healthy or not. Habits are 45 percent of daily life. They cause us to disregard rational or motivational drivers and instead be cued by context, automated actions, time pressure and low self-control.”

So if you’re worried about all those donuts you eat when your job starts dragging you down, take control of your eating before the next crisis. In that way, when the going gets tough, your food consumption won’t veer so far off of a healthy menu.

Carl Lowe

Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.