How to avoid stress eating and weight gain

The lives many of us lead can have moments - or long stretches - of extreme stress, and when doctors say when we're stressed, we may not eat as well as we should.

While stress can cause many different ailments, including high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity, weight gain is also a major side effect.

That's because, according to psychologists at the Mayo Clinic, people tend to eat to fill an emotional need during stressful times even when they're not hungry.

That snacking can include comfort foods that are usually high in calories and fat.

Luckily, doctors say there are ways to get a hold of your emotional eating habits. First and foremost, physicians say that getting a handle on your stress.

That includes recognizing when you're stressed and what kind of triggers or warning signs come with it, including anxiety, irritability and tension. Doctors also recommend trying relaxation exercises such as yoga and meditation.

On the physical front, physicians say that you should avoid having comfort food readily available, especially at high stress times.