Science Says There's No Such Thing As Stress-Eating

Let's celebrate with some cake.
PHOTO: giphy.com

A study from Biological Psychology argues stress-eating is not a legitimate excuse one can use anymore to explain why she's eaten an entire post-dinner pizza in one sitting. Well, it doesn't say exactly that, but it does assert the body's natural response to stress is actually a decreased appetite—not an increased one. 

59 participants were tested over the course of 10 days to see how their appetites were manipulated by stress. Five times a day, the volunteers would enter their emotional state, stress level, and what they'd eaten since last check-in into an app. They'd further measure whether the food choice they'd made was based on hunger, time constraints, wanting (not needing) to eat, and whether the consumption was a meal or just a snack.


Based on the above, researchers found people who ate when stressed did it less for taste (the pre-dessert pizza) and much more because they were hungry. There was little correlation found between stress and the quantity of food consumed, but they did notice people who did eat when they were stressed (regardless of the reason) actually ate less than those who weren't.

Do you know what that means? It means happy, non-stressed people, eat more, not because they need to, but because they want to. Stress-eating is not a thing but happy-eating is. 

Don't let that stress you out. Just eat something to celebrate.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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