Appetite and Stress – The Potential Link

Introduction and background

Our health is the most important part of our life and to live a long and fit life we have to keep a constant check on what we are eating and how it is affecting our health. While these things may be important, little importance is givean to them, thanks to our largely busy lifestyles. However, the situation is not just stuck to that point and has actually gotten worse. This lifestyle of ours has made us contract problems that used to be a very sighting not so long ago and these problems are having a direct impact on our appetites. One of these things is stress and we are all quite familiar with how much research has been done on finding the potential link that may exist between stress and appetite. You must have seen people eat like maniacs when feeling stressed and thereby, coining the term “stress-eating”. With so many people nowadays falling prey to this problem, there is a dire need to find a way out of it so we don’t end up destroying our health. In order to do that, we have decided to share with you some crucial information that can help you understand this problem and then also prevent it. To find out more about this crucial link, keep reading.

Hormonal imbalance

Our body is a complex system of parts and just like the parts in any mechanical object in which everything needs to be in a specific amount to make it work properly, the humans also need hormones to be present in a specific proportion at all times to keep everything running smoothly. Stress, it turns out has a direct impact on this balance and causes the body to release certain hormones that may have a diverse impact on the body in both short term and long term.

In the short term, stress can cause the body to actually shut down the appetite and craving for food. The body ends up releasing a hormone that releases corticotrophin which directly impacts the appetite and suppresses it. Epinephrine production is also stopped by the body and the whole system goes into a resting mode, as if responding to the stoppage of food consumption.

In the long term however, the body takes stress in quite the opposite manner and a particular hormone called cortisol is produced which causes a direct increase in the person’s appetite. In addition to that, it also increases the motivation in general for the person but that also includes the motivation to eat.

Comfort foods

Sugary and fatty foods are considered to be the most favored foods for people who are under stress. These foods are said to be responsible for triggering the brain to process and remove the stress and are therefore also known as “comfort foods”. Other researches also show that there may be a possible link between countering stress and high insulin levels in the body due to the consumption of huge amounts of sugars and fats.

The healthy solution

Even though our bodies may be asking us to go straight for that box of donuts or eat the whole cake alone, we still have enough intelligence to realize that during times like these it is critically important to keep your head. A number of different activities can help you solve your stress problem without ruining your appetite. These include regular exercise, meditation and also getting support from social groups. All these activities have a direct impact on the processing of stress by the body and are therefore almost always successful in generating solid results.


As long as you keep in mind how eating the wrong foods is bad and what you need to do to treat your stress, not only can you keep a healthy appetite but also treat your stress and generate great habits at the same time.