Turn on your favorite playlist to avoid overeating when stressed, experts say

Turn on your favorite playlist to avoid overeating when stressed, experts say

Instead of looking for chocolate when stressed, people should listen to their favorite music to keep eating comfort at bay, one expert suggested.

People often turn to food when they feel stressed or sad, and this in turn can cause them to overeat.

The researchers analyzed how many snacks women ate after listening to certain types of music, in an attempt to see how food and music can help fight negative emotions.

They found that after women who felt sad recalling an upsetting event listened to music that released anger or sadness, they ate half the amount of snacks (chips, chocolate, popcorn, sweets) than sad women who didn’t listen to music.

The music included songs like Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, Eminem’s Mockingbird and Linkin Park’s In The End.

Women who felt stressed by unsolvable anagrams ate about 35% after listening to comforting music, such as Coldplay’s Fix You or Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down.

The researchers suggest their findings indicate that people could potentially avoid emotionally eating by reaching for their favorite playlist before opening their snack drawer.

Dr Helen Coulthard, an expert on eating behavior at De Montfort University in Leicester (DMU), said: “If you are feeling stressed and worried that this may lead to eating a lot of unhealthy junk food, wear headphones and listen to some beautiful comforting music.

He added that the method could also help some people with weight loss.

While it’s not known how music works to help people eat less, experts suggest it may be linked to the release of happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin.

Annemieke van den Tol, a music psychologist at the University of Lincoln, co-author of the study, said: “I think the take-home message is that if we are stressed we may have a tendency to do something to make us feel better, and subconsciously we may grasp. food because it is giving us a positive charge of dopamine, serotonin, which makes us feel better.

“But think about alternatives, like music (which) can still give you a boost and make you feel better when you are sad or stressed.”

For each study, 120 women were asked to name a song they listened to when they were sad, stressed, or in need of distraction, and it was played to them when they ate in the test conditions.

The results were presented at the British Science Festival hosted by De Montfort University in Leicester.

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