Stress Eating – Why it Happens and How to Stop it?

By      08-Apr 2021       Reading Time: 5 Mins

Stress Eating – Why it Happens and How to Stop it?

Stress eating is consuming foods when you’re not hungry but in response to your feelings. The causes of stress eating can be both physical and psychological. Stress eating occurs occasionally for some, while for others, it’s regular.

Food can be often felt like a tangible source of solace when you’re stressed. Foods can cause happiness, make you feel safe, and even elicit nostalgic memories but over time, the temptation to reach for a bag of chips and devour the whole bag can signal a more serious problem.

Emotional eating can ease your stress in for short term, but has no long-term benefits. Additionally, facing your emotions head-on starts with being mindful about your stressors, and about your relationship with food.

Here are a few tips to help.

How to Stop Stress Eating?

  • Reframe for healthier choices – While you’re working on breaking the cycle of emotional eating, make it harder to find the foods you crave. Foods that are high in sugar and fat are often considered comfort foods because they reduce stress related responses and emotions but in turn leads to various health issues. So, clear the house of the salty, sweet foods you like to eat and opt for healthy options. Cut up vegetable sticks or fruit and keep it in the fridge so when the craving strikes, this is the most convenient snack option.
  • Decipher between hunger and stress – When you’re stressed or anxious one is likely to snack on what’s available, even if you’re not actually hungry. In these moments, asking yourself that if you’re truly hungry, or is there another emotion that is driving you to eat. And if it’s something else, practice identifying times when you’ve had those feelings, and try alternative coping strategies instead, like going on a walk, or calling a friend. These alternative strategies can help you identify when you’re bored-eating, or hunger-eating.
  • Exercise to reduce stress – If you are keen to shake the habit of overeating and want to lose weight, swap eating with exercise. Physical activity releases hormone knows as dopamine which makes us feel better, so you’re overcoming the low mood you may have felt. Perhaps, if it makes it difficult for you to get to the gym or even do formal exercises at home, try to increase the amount of walking, gardening, cleaning and other forms of movement and exercise one normally does from day to day.
  • Reach out for Help – Talking out your feelings and unhealthy responses to stress with close friends and family can give you the support you need to get through tough situations. If you often feel any guilt, shame or regret over your eating habits, always seek professional help.
  • Over to you:

    Stress eating has become common now-a-day. Taking active steps today to tackle emotional eating and finding new healthy habits will help manage stress. It is likely to feel better and more upbeat throughout the day as a result.

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    "At Nmami Life, the meaning of good health is a combination of nutrition and fitness, which are essential to your well-being."
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    Nmami Agarwal

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