What is stress eating?
Stress eating is when you regularly eat food when you’re not hungry as a way of getting emotional comfort.
During times of support, when you shouldn’t be alone, you consider food as your only way out of it.
Among other things, stress eating hurts your health. It can cause you to gain weight which also leads to cardiovascular health problems
If you find yourself picking up food to cope up with your stress, then you might need to rethink the way you handle stress.
Food, when eaten in the right amounts with real nutritional value, would not adversely affect your health.
But, if you chew away to suppress your negative feelings that too several times a week, then you need to watch out.
Obesity and weight gain are prominent issues that come up with excessive eating habits.
What are the causes of stress eating?
Anything that triggers stress is a cause of excessive eating habits.
Be it your work, financial worries, health issues or family and kids. All these worries can accumulate and result in stress eating.
If you are tensed or in a state of depression, it may also be a reason why people resort to food.
This issue is common in both the genders irrespective of age, though comparatively in women, it is observed more in women as compared to men.
If we could turn to green vegetables and fruits, then it would not have been a concern.
But, as it is instilled in our nature, we never pick up healthy food items.
Instead, reach out to unhealthy fatty food items that are a strict no for our body.
Many of us are confused during times of distress. And that’s the reason why we feel that food can solve all our problems.
The result? We tend to eat food with too much sugar and high-fat foods, often forgetting how dangerous theses food items can be for us.
How to avoid stress eating
There are a few practical ways that can help you to stay away from binge-eating during times of stress.
Here are a few of them:
1. Find the source
If you want to achieve any fitness goal, an important is to first identify the cause of any bad habits.
Once you know why and when you go through such eating disorders, then you will be able to curb the problem.
For example, do you eat when you go through a fight with your friend, colleague, or family member?
Or you eat when you feel alone and have no one to talk to?
Mapping of reasons is critical while thinking about when you tend to eat up. One can start keeping notes to check when they ate and why.
This would help them to reduce the triggers of stress and maximize healthy eating habits. It’s one of the practical ways to stop stress eating before it happens.
The risks of overeating can be reduced if you keep track of “what and when” of your eating habits.
We all know that exercise can help a great deal for us.
If you are physically fit, then you can resist stress. It is proven that exercise causes chemical changes in the brain that reduces stress.
So being fit is a way through which you can save yourself.
A healthy mind results in a healthy body. Your soul and mind, if they are stress-free, then you will be able to avoid bad eating habits.
Meditation, yoga, or even Tai Chi can help you curb your stress.
Deep breathing during meditation can help calm any anxiety we have at the moment. It helps stop the eating urge since it takes the stress away.
4. Keep a food diary
Maintain a diary of what you are eating. Track how many calories you are taking in.
That’s a good step that can help you cope with your stress eating habits. Many apps provide you a daily diet chart to help you count the calories you take.
5. Cure your boredom
When we are bored, we tend to think about so many scenarios in our heads.
The made-up scenarios also create panic and stress, which results in probable binge eating to avoid stressing.
We can tackle boredom in a considerable lot of ways.
Watch a film, play games, or even gossip with your friends and family to cure your boredom and avoid unhealthy snacking.
6. Choose healthy snacks
Not every snack has to be an unhealthy one. If you want to binge eat, then choose healthy snacks.
Yes, during times of distress, you might not know what to eat. And would pick up the most natural snack available and eat it.
The easiest way is to keep a pantry of healthy snacks.
Healthy snacks are available in the market are intended to keep you satisfied when you’re hungry and calm down your hunger.
7. Plan your meals
Studies show that people who plan their meals more likely to have higher overall food variety and quality.
We are not asking you to do an unhealthy diet plan where you eat nothing.
That is also a negative thing to do. Various diet plans and dietitians can help you out with the diet plan that suits your needs.
This way, you wouldn’t feel the need to pick an unhealthy item in times of stress.
Also, this technique would help you with weight loss instead of weight gain.
8. Recognize addiction
People don’t agree with this, but binge eating is an addictive behavior.
Sugar, salt, and other fatty products tend to create a habit between the people, primarily when people depend on addictive materials to cope up with stress.
9. Find a hobby
Everybody is passionate about something. Even you would have a hobby that you are passionate about.
So, it’s advised by the experts to find some hobby that you always wanted to pursue.
Whether it’s art, music, dance, or anything, find something that excites you and satisfies your brain cells.
It would divert your mind from stress and stop you from stress eating.
Hobbies are a great way to interact with your inner peace as well as it would give you a sense of purpose to connect with your talented self.
10. Get a support system
If you want to stop stress eating, ask your friends or family for support.
Once you know you have stress eating habits, a community can keep you accountable.
If you have excellent emotional support, then your closed ones can help stop you from making decisions related to binge eating.