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How Stress and Anxiety Affect Your Diet

by | Last updated: Feb 28, 2023 | Hypothalamus, Weight Management | 0 comments

So how do stress and anxiety affect your diet? Let’s talk about it. 

Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on your diet.

And that’s because, during high stress when you’re feeling very anxious, your adrenal hormones and your neurotransmitters are so out of balance that you crave foods that will help to get them back into balance. 

Your hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis is the communication center that controls your stress response. As soon as you perceive a stressor or start to feel anxious, your adrenals produce adrenaline. Adrenaline triggers adrenal aldosterone production. Aldosterone controls your saltwater balance and your blood pressure. Rising adrenaline triggers fuel the fight or flight.

When you’re under an acute stressor, meaning it’s just happening and hasn’t lasted very long, the high adrenaline levels may actually knock out your appetite, make you a little nauseous and you may lose weight. In the beginning, you will definitely crave some salt and you’ll be thirsty. But when the stress has been chronic, you start craving sugar and fat along with salt. 

Under the influence of high levels of cortisol, you need to replace those sugar stores.

The fat you crave is because your adrenal glands need fat in order for you to make steroid stress hormones – aldosterone, cortisol and DHEA. The salt craving comes from high aldosterone production which has your kidneys wasting more sodium and potassium into urine. 

Even if you may be trying to follow a low-carb diet, eat more protein and healthy fats, you’re craving junk food. You’re craving comfort carbs, fatty fried foods, and salty foods – none of which are good for your health. The carbohydrates you crave like sweets and particularly chocolate happen when your serotonin levels are low. When serotonin is low you feel more anxious. Dark chocolate can be medicinal, so you can consume it in small amounts to help elevate your mood. But if you’re eating more than an ounce or two a day you’re going to have problems with an unbalanced diet. That can lead to weight gain and detoxification issues. 

Stress and junk foods affect your bowels because you tend not to eat as many fruits and vegetables. Choosing sugar and starches instead of fiber-rich food can cause constipation and detox issues. 

So yes, stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on your diet.

I have found that in my patients who take Genesis Gold® regularly to support their hypothalamus rarely have long-term issues with poor dietary choices.

Of course, they may experience stress as we all do, but their reaction to stress is very short-lived. They bounce back faster. They recognize their cravings sooner. They fulfill those cravings with healthier alternatives. Like a little bit of dark chocolate, maybe a sweet potato to help with some of the carb cravings. Nuts and seeds for the fat and a little bit of sea salt sprinkled on top for those salt cravings.

That’s because Genesis Gold® helps them become more attuned to their body. When you support your hypothalamus, you’re going to bounce back from stressors much more rapidly, and stress will not wreak havoc on your diet and your health.

If you have any questions about stress and anxiety, please join me in our Hormone Support Group where I answer your questions live. You can access it by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.


Abnormal hypothalamic response to light in Seasonal … – NCBIhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › articles › PMC5323254

The human hypothalamus in mood disorders: The HPA axis in …https://www.sciencedirect.com › science › article › pii

Porcu, A., et al. (2022) Seasonal changes in day length induce multisynaptic neurotransmitter switching to regulate hypothalamic network activity and behavior. Science Advances. doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abn9867.

About the Author - Deborah Maragopoulos FNP

Known as the Hormone Queen®️, I’ve made it my mission to help everyone – no matter their age – balance their hormones, and live the energy and joy their DNA and true destiny desires. See more about me my story here…



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