SHAPING UP: Understanding how stress can have an impact on your eating habits

If you’ve ever had a stressful day (or year!) that has affected your eating habits, you are not alone.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 12:00 am
Go for a walk or run, do a workout, basically move – it’s one of the fastest stress relievers and mood boosters there is.
Go for a walk or run, do a workout, basically move – it’s one of the fastest stress relievers and mood boosters there is.

In a study, more than 75% of adults said that stress played a role in their eating during the past month.

This included overeating, eating junk foods, or not eating. Many of them said it happened weekly.

They also said it made them feel sluggish, lazy, disappointed in themselves, or irritable.

The good news is that I have a few tips below to stop stress from getting in the way of your results when it comes to food.

But before I get into the tips, it’s important to know why stress affects our appetite.

Knowing why can help you manage the situation when you’re in it!

When you get stressed, your body releases hormones to help you deal with stress.

Not only can these hormones – including adrenaline, insulin, and cortisol – cut your appetite and/or make you crave high-calorie, high-fat foods they also can make your body store more fat than when you’re relaxed.

The horrible hormones!

This means it’s not a willpower issue, but an actual physiological response. Knowing this can help stop you from giving in to it when it happens.

So here’s four Steps to Stop Stress Eating (or Not Eating)

Acknowledge it!

If you’re feeling stressed and notice your appetite is gone or you start craving junk food, remind yourself that you're stressed … and focus on dealing with whatever is actually stressing you.


Go for a walk, do a workout, basically move – it’s one of the fastest stress relievers and mood boosters there is.

Plus, it can get you out of the situation and into a new perspective.

Meditate or do deep breathing.

Just five minutes can help you feel calmer, more focused, and less stressed.

Talk it out.

Taking a few minutes to get some support with whatever is bothering you can help you take back control.

And if this is something you deal with regularly, it can help to talk to a professional who has experience with eating issues.

These tips will help you gain back control, instead of letting your body lead the way.

At East Coast Fitness, we help our clients find with all of the pillars of health, not just fitness! If you’d like to find out more go to

This is part of Graham's journey: “When I left school, I spent four years as a professional footballer at Hartlepool United. I had a reasonably successful, short career, winning international tournaments with the youth team, making my professional debut in 2005 and winning Young Player Of The Year in the same year, we reached the League 1 Play-Off Final.“More importantly, during this time, I learned a great deal about exercise and nutrition and how to get the best out of your body.

"When my football career ended due to injury, I qualified as a personal trainer. I moved to Dubai, where I worked in a huge gym which was a priceless experience .

" The knowledge I gained in one year in Dubai would have taken at least five in the UK.When I returned from Dubai, I took on the role of gym supervisor and personal trainer at the five -star Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa.

It was there that I set up my first boot camp. They went from strength to strength and grew very quickly. While I was there, I won the Leisure Excellence Award at the North East Hotels Association.

" I left in 2012 to focus on running my own business, holding boot camp sessions in car parks and travelling to clients to train them at home.”