We all know what makes us fat: eating more in calories than we burn off in energy. But though this is true, it doesn't answer the more interesting question - why do we overeat in the first place?
Why do I sometimes feel compelled to eat that bit of cake or bar of chocolate although I know I am going to regret it a few minutes later?
Is it just greed - or is something else going on?
Although self-control is important, there is mounting evidence that stress plays a significant part in weight gain.
Chronic stress disrupts our sleep and our blood sugar levels. This leads to increased hunger and comfort eating.
And that then leads to further disrupted sleep, even higher levels of stress and even more disrupted blood sugars. In time, this can lead not only to unhealthy levels of body fat, but also to type-2 diabetes.
when you are stressed, your body goes into "fight or flight" mode.
Your body thinks it is under attack and releases glucose into your blood to provide energy for your muscles.
But if you don't need that energy to run away from danger, then your pancreas will pump out insulin to bring those blood sugar levels back down again.
These rising levels of insulin and falling blood sugars will make you hungry - which is why you crave sugary carbs when you are stressed.