Bright Side

A Study Suggests That Getting Too Angry Can Make You Become Overweight

Just in case you needed another reason to get in a better mood, a nutrition expert explains how anger can become the enemy if you want to lose weight. No matter how much you exercise, if you keep “eating” your anger (literally and figuratively), you’ll never reach your ideal weight.

Bright Side did some more research on the relationship between being overweight and feeling angry and here’s what we found.

He who gets angry gets fat.

El Que se enoja engorda (He Who Gets Angry Gets Fat) is the title of the book written by Mexican nutritionist, Juan Manuel Romero Villa. In his book, he states that anger can be the reason you become overweight. The author explores the relationship between emotions and the food we eat, emphasizing the fact that becoming overweight goes beyond the physical aspect — it’s also a shield we wear to thwart off situations that cause us pain, grief, anguish, etc.

But what does getting angry have to do with getting fat? In practical terms, when you’re angry, your body begins to secrete adrenaline and cortisol which is a hormone that is released in response to stress and in turn, increases blood sugar levels. Normally this hormone is produced when you exercise, but when it’s produced by anger, the glucose that is generated cannot be used by the cells and ends up being deposited as fat.

This book is the result of more than a decade of work by the author, including academic research, and his own experiences with his patients and himself. The author found that many of his overweight patients had anger issues in common, further proving his theory that obesity is related to anger and poor management of that emotion.

Being overweight can also have endogenous (internal) causes such as metabolic syndrome and hormonal or thyroid problems. The causes could also be exogenous (external) such as poor eating habits or a lack of exercise. In this way, anger is just one more element that adds to these possible causes, but it’s not the only one.

The weight of emotions

Negative emotions such as anger, sadness or anxiety can greatly affect the way we eat and in many cases become the cause of excessive weight gain. These emotions are channeled through food which becomes unconscious protection against emotional difficulties.

Nutritionist Sigrid Pimentel Martín states that “emotions are energy that is transformed into weight gain, indigestion, and a weak immune system,” so learning to identify and manage them will have a very positive effect on the individual, improving their mood and their relationship with food.

It’s all about taking control of our own emotions and finding more positive ways to channel them. Exercising is a good idea or you can pick up a new hobby like painting, drawing, writing or just going for a walk when you need to relax your mind a bit.

Pay attention to how you eat.

Becoming aware of your eating habits is key to improving them, so you can also detect what factors are causing you to overeat and consume unhealthy foods. Here’s some good advice: take 5 minutes before giving in to a craving instead of eating it automatically. Take some time to reflect on how you feel and whether or not you can avoid eating the food you want.

Eating is such an everyday activity that we often don’t pay enough attention to it, so it’s a good idea to avoid distractions such as watching TV or scrolling through a smartphone — in other words, while we eat, food should be the main focus.

Improving our eating habits in the long term should be accompanied by an introspective exercise in which we connect with our emotions and the way they become triggers for certain behaviors in front of food, which is a great way to attack the problem at its root.

Now you know that if you’re looking to lose weight, it may be good to think about whether you’ve been too angry lately. Do you think that’s the case? Tell us in the comments.

Preview photo credit Norbit / DreamWorks Pictures