LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Today's economy is stressing people out which is forcing them to "veg-out" on unhealthy foods.
So, the recession can make you fat. From eating cookies to watching TV, people are eating just to clear their minds.
"We're stressed so we're eating because we're stressed and we're tired so we don't have time or energy to cook a full meal and then we're just serving what's fast and easy," said family nurse practitioner, Lisa Blackwelder.
As a nurse at the Longview Wellness Center, Blackwelder sees the effects of stress eating on her patients.
"We're eating too much pasta - to much junk food," said Blackwelder. "It's easier to buy the junk food. It's sometimes cheaper."
It's cheaper and easier for busy receptionist Annabel Cruz.
"I've been eating more junk food," said Cruz. "It's just grab and go, grab and go everyday. It makes me feel a little bit better."
Along with work, she's a wife, mother of a two toddlers and goes to school part time.
"When you're paying out of pocket, it's stressful," said Cruz. "It really is, so I've been snacking around."
And, snacking around can turn into emotional eating.
"You've got to listen to your hunger," said Blackwelder. "Your stomach will tell you when you're hungry. If you're eating and you're truly not hungry, you can kind of know."
So, how do you control it? Exercise.
"Exercise makes you feel good," said Blackwelder. "It's a prescription for everything from depression, for high blood pressure, for diabetes, for over-eating exercise."
And, then comes the food pyramid.
"[Eat ] vegetables, fruits, almonds," said Blackwelder. "If you're going to eat bread, eat the brown bread- the wheat bread."
As for Cruz, she is already thinking smarter.
"I'm going to try to snack on carrots," said Cruz. "Carrots or something different that's a little bit healthier."
Medical experts say another thing to consider is portion size when you're eating. Surprisingly, they say most people don't realize that a serving of meat is basically the size of a deck of cards.