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28 Sep, 2022
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Struggling With Stress Eating? Here Are Ways To Combat It!

Emotional eating or stress eating refers to the widespread practice of turning to food for comfort. People who emotionally eat often reach for food several times a day to snuff and comfort unfavourable emotions. After eating this way, they could experience guilt or shame, which can start a cycle of overeating and related problems like gaining excess weight. 

What Causes Someone To Eat Due To Their Emotions? 

The underlying cause of your stress eating could be anything, including relationship problems, health problems, and financial stress. However, other research indicates that women are more likely to eat emotionally than men. 

Why Food? 

An emotional void may result from adverse feelings. Food is believed to be a strategy to either restore one’s definition of wholeness or temporarily fill that emptiness. 

Other Factors Include: 

  • Avoiding social interaction when you need it most. 
  • Not doing things that would otherwise help reduce tension, depression, etc. 
  • Unable to distinguish between emotional and bodily hunger.
  • Using self-defeating thoughts connected to bingeing episodes. 
  • As a result, an emotional eating cycle may develop. 
  • Stress causes a change in cortisol levels that causes cravings.

Emotional Hunger vs True Hunger 

When we’re anxious and unhappy, we do stress eating. When we are joyful and celebrating, we eat too. And occasionally, we eat only out of boredom. 

According to psychologists, boredom is likely the most common emotional manifestation of hunger. However, the difference between physical fitness and emotional hunger must be made. Physical hunger comes on slowly and is related to when you last ate. At the same time, factors like stress, worry, or exhaustion cause emotional eating.

Find Other Ways To Cope With Stress

The first step toward overwhelming emotional eating is continually learning a different method to handle unpleasant emotions. This could entail finding some time to unwind and relax from the day in some other way, such as writing a diary or reading a book. It takes time to change your thinking from having food to using alternative stress-relieving techniques, so try out different things to see what works for you. 

Some foods are comfort food because they bring back delightful memories and reduce stress. Healthy eating patterns, however, depends on differentiating between occasional amenities and emotional eating, which is when we eat to improve our mood. Fortunately, you may take steps to resume your healthy eating routine. 

Here Are Some Ideas To Combat The Habit of Stress Eating:

Use a Food Journal 

To keep track of the meals you consume throughout the day and to be aware of what you’re feeding your body, journal your meals. It is crucial, to be honest about your diet. Record your feelings before meals or snacks, giving you more information about how you feel about food.

Recognizing triggers that cause emotional eating. Mindful eating may be helpful if you keep a journal of what you eat and when. Although it can be difficult, try to keep track of everything you consume, no matter how much or how little, as well as the feelings you’re sharing at the time. 

Additionally, keeping a food diary can be a helpful resource to share with your doctor if you decide to get treatment for your eating habits.

Work Up a Sweat 

An essential component of a healthy lifestyle is exercise. The next time you want to nibble mindlessly, consider taking a quick stroll since it can also be a helpful diversion from desires. Training regularly can provide relief for some people. 

At highly emotional times, a short yoga session or a short walk or jog around the block may be beneficial. A good workout causes your body to produce endorphins, which work with your brain to relax and calm you. Likewise, it will boost your self-esteem. 

Consider Your Hunger 

Do you need food, or are you merely craving it? Is your tummy growling? Intuitive eating refers to learning to eat more by your body’s demands rather than those out of boredom or anxiety. This is a beautiful opportunity to practice how you view food and its effects on your body. 

Foods that you frequently seek in times of conflict that are in your cupboards might be trashed or donated. Think about foods high in fat, sugar, or calories, such as chips, chocolate, and ice cream. Additionally, avoid going to the grocery store when you’re hurt. Allowing you to reflect before eating and keeping the foods you crave away when you feel emotional may help stop the cycle.

Eliminate Mindless Eating 

Avoid other distractions when eating, such as the TV or your smartphone. The next time you catch yourself in this habit, try turning off the television or putting down your phone. This enables you to focus entirely on your food and how it makes you feel while you consume it. You’ll be able to stop eating once you’re satisfied since you’ll be aware of when you’re beginning to feel complete. 

You could find that you’re eating emotionally if you pay attention to your meal, the bits you take, and your hunger level. Some people even find it beneficial to concentrate on chewing their food 10 to 30 times before swallowing a bite. These actions offer your mind and stomach some time to catch up.

Pay Attention to Volume 

Refrain from seizing an entire bag of chips or other snacks. To help with portion control, mindful eaters should learn to measure servings and use small plates. Give yourself some time after finishing the first helping before returning for another.

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