Job Stress and Overeating

Emotional overeating is causing obesity due to chronic job stress.

Author: Christin Sander, Health Writer

Stressful lifestyles tend to go hand in hand with overeating. A hectic work schedule can lead to the temptation to eat fast food or other processed meals on the go. Work related stress can also trigger cravings for sugar and other “comfort” foods. Studies have linked chronic work related stress with higher obesity rates.

A 2012 study by the *American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a direct link between workplace burnout and obesity. According to the study, women experiencing burnout are more vulnerable to emotional eating and uncontrolled eating. Stressful work conditions hindered the ability to change eating behaviors. The study went on to recommend treating the burnout and stress first, before addressing dietary factors.

Job burnout is a major contributor to chronic stress that leads to disease. If you are working in a career that is not supportive, doesn't challenge you enough or isn't gratifying at the end of the day, it can spell disaster for your long-term health. Finding a new career may be the answer. 

Why Job Stress Causes Overeating

When the body is under stress, whether physical or psychological, it elicits a response known as “fight or flight”. This response triggers the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which increase hunger. Cortisol triggers the body to store fat in the belly. Over time, chronic stress and high cortisol levels lead to chronic overeating and obesity. 

When possible, avoid unhealthy foods from vending machines by carrying your own healthy, filling foods. You can keep track of how much you are eating by tracking calories in a food journal. A food journal allows you to track not only the food you eat, but the emotions you are feeling when you eat. It can help identify periods of stress eating vs actual hunger.

Even the most satisfying jobs can be stressful periodically. When job stress appears, there are several non-food ways to relieve tension and stay healthy.

Non-food Methods to Relieve Job Stress

Get a quick mini-workout. Take some time to stretch or take a quick walk around the block during your break for an instant mood-elevator. 

Plug in your headphones and listen to relaxing music or even subliminal recordings that help develop focus and productivity.

Breathe. Take a few moments to close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. This moment of mini-meditation can clear your head and induce a feeling of calm and clarity.

Get a burst of aromatherapy. Essential oils can bring instant relief and mental clarity. Rosemary and citrus oils are a great way to clear the mind and get an instant energy boost. 

There are natural remedies that can help manage stress and improve weight loss. PureCalm™ is a non-addictive herbal remedy that quickly relieves the symptoms of anxiety and stress. It calms and balances the mood naturally during times of pressure. Triple Complex Slimmer's Assist™ is a 100% natural homeopathic remedy formulated to boost metabolism, improve energy levels and increase weight loss. 

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