Stress eating and 4 tips to get rid of it
27 September 2022 Estimated time: ~2 min.
Also known as emotional or compulsive eating, stress eating means “indulging“ in foods high in fat or sugar in response to negative emotions.
When you eat not because you are hungry, but because you had a bad day at the office and this episode repeats itself for a long period of time, you know that you suffer from a disorder called binge/stress eating.
That is, you eat under stress because food - usually sweets or junk food - represents an emotional refuge in that difficult moment for you! You need a consolation, and food represents, at that moment, the hug that you lack at that time.
The episode is triggered by a hormone called cortisol, also called the stress hormone, and not by hunger, which is a normal sensation of the body. Once chronic, compulsive eating, against a background of stress, leads to an unbalanced relationship with food.
Here’s what you can do to get rid of stress eating:
1.Drink a large glass of water
When you feel hungry, a sensation that can easily cover stress eating, drink a large glass of water! Consuming as much liquid as possible, including soups, reduces the feeling of hunger and, in addition, water, natural fresh drinks or soups come with multiple benefits for the whole body. Also, water helps to eliminate toxins from the body, balance the PH and prevent constipation.
2. Just move (away from food)!
A walk in the park, jogging, yoga, cycling, dancing, breathing exercises, stretching, anything that means movement! Sedentaryism, boredom creates opportunities to often turn to various goodies, the brain needs occupation. Take the dog (if you have one) to walk in a park or just go out and walk alone admiring the nature! Through exercise, endorphins are released in the body, i.e. the hormones responsible for well-being.
3.Choose healthy rewards
When you’re stress eating, at least try to replace the rewards you need when you’re in a bad mood! Healthy carbohydrates, from whole grains, for example, have the ability, due to the content of vitamin B1, folic acid and zinc, to improve mood and fight depression. Oatmeal is an excellent anti-stress food, as are almonds, avocados or walnuts. Even dark chocolate is very good!
4.Keep a meal diary
As long as you have a written list of meals, type of food, amounts, times, everything will be easier. And be prepared for cravings! It is recommended to have on hand as a snack: carrots, spinach, hummus, dark chocolate, quinoa, popcorn without salt or cucumbers.