When you are stressed, your body kicks up production of the hormone cortisol. “High levels of cortisol can lead to an accumulation of abdominal fat as well as other chronic health problems,” says New York City nutritionist Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, the founder of Nutritious Life. Cortisol also causes the body to form a resistance to leptin—a hormone that sends the signal to the brain that you are full, she says. “The more stressed you are, the more cortisol you secrete, and the less able you are to tell when you are full.” There’s more to it too, she says. “During times of stress, we tend to crave high sugar, high carbohydrate foods that produce serotonin and make us feel calm and in control. So, reducing stress will help reduce these cravings.” She suggests carving out a few minutes to practice deep breathing each day. “Close your eyes, clear your mind, and breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth,” she says.

Larson-Meyer, D. E., Willis, K. S., Willis, L. M., Austin, K. J., Hart, A. M., Breton, A. B., & Alexander, B. M. (2013, June 8). Effect of honey versus sucrose on appetite, appetite-regulating hormones, and postmeal thermogenesis [Abstract]. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 29(5), 482–493. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2010.10719885