Businesspeople eating cupcakes in office

Everyone eats differently! Some of us eat more when we’re stressed, and some of us eat more when we’re happy. What kind of “eater” are you?

I have always labeled myself a “stress eater.” Whenever I’m feeling upset, anxious, or angry – I eat. For some reason, food is way more satisfying when I’m completely stressed out. I know I’m not alone! According to American Psychology Association, “Thirty-eight percent of adults say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress. Half of these adults (49 percent) report engaging in these behaviors weekly or more.”

Stress eating is a common occurrence for adults and teenagers. But, it turns out – stress might not actually have an effect on your appetite. Shocker, I know!

A study, available in Biological Psychology, proved that stress doesn’t actually alter your appetite. In fact, “results revealed that higher stress led to decreased taste-eating which is in line with physiological stress-models.” This study was conducted by observing participants, and how their appetites changed when dealing with stress. The participants actually ate less when they were stressed. Who would’ve thought?

I find this information very interesting. If stress doesn’t increase one’s appetite, then why do people eat more when their stressed out?

“Time pressure during eating resulted in less taste- and more hunger-eating,” according to the study. What does this mean? The participants who were stressed didn’t necessarily eat because they were craving the taste of food, they simply ate because they were hungry. So, you might eat when you’re stressed. But it’s not because you’re craving food more than usual. According to this research, stress is more likely to decrease your appetite.

The study went a step further and said, “stronger positive emotions went along with well increased test-eating.” So, people who are in better moods are more likely to eat than people who aren’t. Makes sense! I definitely eat more when I’m out with a group of friends than when I’m sitting alone by myself on a week day. Eating because you’re happy is truly the best kind of eating!