Stressed Women Eat High-Calorie Comfort Food, Study FindsPosted on Nov 9th 2009 12:00PM by Kristen Seymour
Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss
The study, which surveyed 600 women, found that most women not only opt for foods that might normally be off-limits, but they also beat themselves up about it. And, as the author of the Shine article pointed out, that's hardly surprising -- most of my girlfriends follow that same pattern.
This isn't the first study to look at the relationship between stressed out women and comfort food. A study from Cornell a few years back had similar findings, including the fact that these foods triggered feelings of guilt in many women. It also found that men and women seek out different kinds of comfort food, with men preferring protein-dense treats, like steak or meatloaf, while women jones for sweet, high calorie snacks (chocolate and a pint of ice cream, ladies?).
The Shine article points out something new in the UC-San Francisco study -- there are so many high fat foods readily available to us, and chronic stress makes it far more difficult for us to make smart choices when it comes to what we chow down on.
Knowing this actually gives us a lot of power. If you know when you're weakest, you can be on the lookout. Therefore, when we know we're stressed, we need to make a real effort to think before we eat. Mindless eating is more of a problem than the actual foods.
Looking for a way to relax and burn calories? Maybe you should give Tai Chi a try.