When you’re stressed out, your body craves food – and usually it’s not the healthy kind. A recent study found that most people gravitate toward high-fat, sugary foods. In fact, recent research from Ohio State University shows that regularly eating high-calorie and high-fat foods when you’re stressed also slows your metabolism, a double whammy that can lead to an annual 11-pound weight gain. When you’re feeling stressed, definitely avoid these foods:
- Doughnuts – Baked sweets, including doughnuts, cookies and cake actually increase anxiety. They lack the fiber to slow the digestion of all that sugar, glucose levels spike, which subsequently raises the stress hormone cortisol.
- Pretzels – Pretzels are the perfect combination of saltiness and crunch. But they are nothing but empty, simple carbs that will briefly make you feel better, before sending you crashing back to the blues.
- Potato Chips – Potato chips are so satisfying when you’re stressed. However, they are loaded with trans fats. A study at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that a diet high in trans fats leads to significant weight gain, particularly around the middle, where it’s most dangerous to your health.
- Granola Bars – They sound healthy, right? But the reality is most granola bars are more like candy bars in disguise. They’re loaded with sugar and carbs and while they’re a quick “pick me up,” it won’t last long.
- French Fries – Who doesn’t love hitting the drive-thru for fries when you’re feeling frazzled? Unfortunately, this comfort food is packed with greasy fat, and carbs, which studies have linked to higher rates of depression, as well as belly fat.
- Ice Cream – Drowning your sorrows in a tub of ice cream seems like a good idea at the time. Instead, the sugar spikes your levels of glucose and cortisol, and all that lactose can wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal system.
- Soda – Soda is perhaps the worst of all comfort foods. Drinking regular soda is like eating 10 sugar cubes. Don’t fool yourself with diet soda either. New research from the Weizmann Institute shows artificial sweeteners may affect gut bacteria, which promotes obesity and diabetes.