Just Be Careful To Stay Mindful Of How Social Media Is Making You Feel And Muting Keywords Or Even People Who Are Causing You Stress And Anxiety
If youre sheltering with family right now take this time as an opportunity to have quality time with each other, or commit to re-connect and rekindle relationships. Sadly, a new survey calculated that Americans prior to the pandemic are enjoying just 37 minutes of quality time as a family on weekdays.
Dust of your board games, press play on the music and dance, play with your family, flat mates, or your pet. Cook with your friends or family via Zoom, or pick a Netflix show that you can binge with chosen peeps via an app like Houseparty.
This is the time for you to really bond and unshackle yourself from judgments and find joy and appreciation in the simplest but deepest of moments that have always been there for you.
And if you need a friend and extra virtual hug and high-five, reach out to me, I’m always going live on Instagram, Facebook , so feel free to come and hang with me over at or
Stock Up On Fresh Fruit
So what should you buy instead of all those sweet snacks? Nature’s candy, of course, is naturally free of all added sugars. In fact, dietitians say that eating fresh fruit is one of the healthiest ways to satisfy a sweet craving. To ensure your fruity nosh leaves you full and satisfied, pair it with protein and healthy fats, such as nuts or nut butter , keeping you fuller for longer. Examples of fruit snack pairings include:
- raspberries and low-fat plain yogurt
- banana and peanut butter on whole-grain toast
- apple and low-fat cheddar cheese
- tangerine and cashews
Coping With Food Cravings
While you might feel better at the moment, overindulging in sweets to cope with stress has long term physical consequences such as weight gain. There are also emotional consequences. Over time, a high-sugar diet may worsen symptoms of depression .
There are some ways you can learn to cope not only with cravings but what is causing them. Its important to address whats really driving you to reach for a cookie when youre upset so you can better care for your mind and body.
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Swap Out Comfort Foods For Nourishing Snacks
When learning how to stop stress eating, its important to keep the foods you normally turn to out of the house. Thats why identifying your emotional eating patterns, including what you eat, is so important. If you dont keep potato chips in your house, its more difficult to reach for them when youre feeling down.
Because our association between eating and comfort is so strong, however, quitting suddenly doesnt work for everyone. In order to retrain your brain, you can replace comfort foods with healthier alternatives.
TheCleveland Clinicrecommends eating foods that can actually help you cope with stress, such as antioxidant-rich green or white tea, cherries, and dark chocolate. This way, your brain still enjoys the feeling of snacking and feeling satisfied without the effects of eating high-sugar, high-sodium, and high-calorie foods.
Sugar And Carb Cravings
Let’s face it, stress happens to all of us. No one is immune to external or internal stress and how we deal with stress is different for everyone. Some turn to alcohol or drugs, but some turn to food to soothe ourselves. At some point it just became a habit our brains used to deal with stress and it’s often a really hard habit to break. But I’ve got some good news if you happen to be someone in this group that stress eats with sugar and carbs, you can break free from it!
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Is It Time To Ditch Sugar
Its no secret that sugar can cause issues if youre indulging in a little too much of the sweet stuff. Still, most Americans are eating too much sugar.
The harmful effects it can have on your physical health are well studied, which is why we talk so much about reducing sugar intake to lower the risk of these effects, like chronic disease.
While ditching the sweet stuff can result in a physically healthier you, its the effect sugar has on our mental health thats worth taking a second look.
Is This The Same As Binge Eating
Binge eating is defined as consuming an excess amount of food in a limited period of time, so overeating due to stress could be considered a form of binge eating. Binge eating disorder , however, is classified by having at least one episode of binge eating a week for three consecutive months. Patients suffering from BED show complete loss of control and breakdown of emotion and impulse regulation, which may seem similar to the feeling one gets while stress eating, but is more extreme. One major difference between the two is that individuals with BED have shown an improved mood after a binge, whereas those sporadically binging because of stress do not. The fact that the mood improves in binge-eating is responsible for the chronic nature of the binges.
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Support Yourself With Healthy Lifestyle Habits
When youre physically strong, relaxed, and well rested, youre better able to handle the curveballs that life inevitably throws your way. But when youre already exhausted and overwhelmed, any little hiccup has the potential to send you off the rails and straight toward the refrigerator. Exercise, sleep, and other healthy lifestyle habits will help you get through difficult times without emotional eating.
Get Rid Of Sugary Cereals
Even healthy-sounding cereals are packed with sugar. Kellogg’s Cracklin Oat Bran, for example, has 19 grams in a cup! That’s more than what you’d find in a bag of Pretzel M& M’s! Next time you hit the supermarket, look for a box with less than 6 grams of sugar per serving that provides a hefty dose of fiber. Some of our go-to healthy cereals include Fiber One Original Bran Cereal and Shredded Wheat Spoon Size Wheat ‘n Bran . Add natural sweetness and flavor to your bowl by pouring in some fresh berries or shredded, unsweetened coconut for a healthy breakfast!
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Stop Eating Sugar Tips: The Physical Aspect
Drink a lot of water: My first recommendation is that you start drinking a lot of water right after eating sugar and throughout the day. It seems that sugar dehydrates the body and that causes even more sugar cravings.
Drink as much water as possible, at least 10 but ideally 20 glasses a day. I know it may seem like a lot, but your health will improve almost instantly and your cravings will diminish. I also know it may seem overly simple, but its extremely efficient. Do this for 21 days and share the results with me here.
Balance your sugar levels naturally: I suffer from hypoglycemia. I believe its because I ate way too many sweets growing up.
I take cinnamon mixed with dehydrated wheat grass juice daily. It looks disgusting, but it tastes OK, and it seems to balance my sugar levels. I have also noticed that taking nigari water, which is a great source of magnesium chloride, seems to bring me peace of mind, help me sleep better, and balance my reaction to sugar.
I make the water by mixing 22g of Nigari in a liter of water, but sometimes I just add one quarter of a cappuccino spoon to a glass of water and drink. I must warn you. It tastes awful, but its the only form of magnesium I know that gives me instant calmness.
I usually take it at night, one glass, an hour before bedtime. You may have to find your own plants and supplements to help balance your blood sugar levels. These two are working for me.
Stick To A Regular Meal Schedule
Rather than eating at unplanned times or allowing your body to go for long periods of time without food, try adhering to a meal schedule. Thoughtfully space your meals out over the course of each day to keep your blood sugar stable and hunger levels at bay.
When you are satiated with nutritious foods, you are less likely to wind up craving sweets and succumbing to stress eating.
Maintain a normal eating schedule every day and consume healthy, filling foods to ensure your body gets both the calories and the nutrients it needs to feel content. These foods could include:
- Beans, lentils, and chickpeas
- Unsalted nuts
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Stress And Emotional Eating
If it’s beens years and years and you’ve dealt with whatever life throws at you by eating over it, then you know this is an ingrained habit in your brain. But there are simple ways to rewire our brains to stop the stress eating. Simple strategies that really work to retrain your brain to stop eating over your emotions. I said simple, but I didn’t say they’d be easy. Simple and easy are two very different things, but with support it can be done and I’m going to share with you, not only how to stop the stress eating, but how to rewire your brain into using other strategies to reduce your stress, so you don’t continue this destructive pattern.
Common Causes Of Food Cravings
- Psychological or emotional stress
- Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Hormone imbalances
- Physical and mental health conditions
Research has shown that cravings can also be driven by memories rather than bodily cues. Consistently having a certain food at a certain time creates a mental linkyou might say it almost feeds the craving.
For example, if you grab a snack from the vending machine at work at the same time each afternoon, your desire for the snack may be less about satisfying hunger and more out of habit.
Sweets and decadent meals are often associated with vivid memories of food at social gatherings, such as holidays, parties, and family get-togethers. If you find yourself thinking about your Grandmas molasses cookies or your moms famous apple pie, you may be missing your family members, not the food.
It might sound like cravings are all in your head, but that doesnt mean you’re imagining them. In fact, they’re most often based in biology.
In 2004, researchers used fMRI machines to look at people’s brains as they experienced food cravings. They noticed similarities in the neuroanatomy of food-craving brains and those of people who were addicted to drugs and alcohol .
Findings from similar studies have helped researchers understand the phenomenon of food addiction, which can be another factor if someone is experiencing persistent cravings.
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Is Emotional Eating The Same As Stress Eating
What is stress eating? Stress eating can be defined as the occasional overeating in response to a stressful event or situation.
Its common for people who are under chronic, long-term stress to use food as a coping mechanism and turn to comfort foods that might trigger cravings when theyre feeling stressed out. The problem with this type of behavior is that it often leads to weight gain and can be hard on your digestive system because quick calories dont provide lasting energy or satiety.
Eating due to emotional reasons may have some similarities with what happens during an episode of stress eating but there are also important differences between these two types of behaviors: Emotional eaters tend not to be as satisfied with the food they eat and often continue to feel hungry or crave sweet foods even after overeating They also tend not to be in control of their eating behavior, which may lead them into a cycle where emotional stress provokes more emotional eating.
On the other hand, people who experience occasional episodes of stress-induced overeating are usually better able to stop when they realize whats happening and have tended not to develop unhealthy habits that can result in weight gain over time.
The good news is there are some simple steps you can take today for controlling your stress-eating tendencies:
Figure out why youre stressed Once we know how our bodies react during stressful times it becomes easier for us to identify triggers
Mindfully Eat When Youre Hungry
When youre focusing on a healthy lifestyle, its important to distinguish when your body needs fuel and when it doesnt. Restriction just contributes to emotional eating. You can completely cut out all unhealthy food in an effort to be healthy, but that makes it pretty easy, when you get sad or frustrated, to take it out on the salty bag of chips sitting in your pantry.
When you are actually hungry, eat a balanced meal. Doing so will help satisfy your nutritional needs, which will help squash cravings.
Learn to eat for fuel and pleasure. Enjoy your food chew slowly, but remember, ultimately, your diet is to help your body keep running.
Doing other things while you eat, such as watching TV, or reading, only gets you more distracted and further away from your feelings. You end up eating without tasting your food and enjoying the experience.
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Stress Eating Can Ruin Your Weight Loss Goals The Key Is To Find Ways To Relieve Stress Without Overeating
There is much truth behind the phrase “stress eating.” Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary “comfort foods” push people toward overeating. Researchers have linked weight gain to stress, and according to an American Psychological Association survey, about one-fourth of Americans rate their stress level as 8 or more on a 10-point scale.
In the short term, stress can shut down appetite. The nervous system sends messages to the adrenal glands atop the kidneys to pump out the hormone epinephrine . Epinephrine helps trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response, a revved-up physiological state that temporarily puts eating on hold.
But if stress persists, it’s a different story. The adrenal glands release another hormone called cortisol, and cortisol increases appetite and may also ramp up motivation in general, including the motivation to eat. Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress doesn’t go away or if a person’s stress response gets stuck in the “on” position cortisol may stay elevated.
Alternatives To Emotional Eating
If youre depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or look at a favorite photo or cherished memento.
If youre anxious, expend your nervous energy by dancing to your favorite song, squeezing a stress ball, or taking a brisk walk.
If youre exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
If youre bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy .
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Physical Impact Of Stress
There are also some physical reasons why stress and strong emotions can cause a person to overeat:
- High cortisol levels: Initially, stress causes the appetite to decrease so that the body can deal with the situation. If the stress does not let up, another hormone called cortisol is released. Cortisol increases appetite and can cause someone to overeat.
- Cravings: High cortisol levels from stress can increase food cravings for sugary or fatty foods. Stress is also associated with increased hunger hormones, which may also contribute to cravings for unhealthy foods.
- Sex: Some research shows that women are more likely to use food to deal with stress than men are, while men are more likely than women to smoke or use alcohol.
It is very easy to mistake emotional hunger for physical hunger. But there are characteristics that distinguish them.
Recognizing these subtle differences is the first step towards helping to stop emotional eating patterns.
Work On Your Coping Skills
Every time you eat in response to stress, its just a reminder that you cant cope with your emotions. When the urge to stress-eat strikes, try asking yourself, Whats the worst thing that will happen if I dont eat?
Yes, your stress level might rise a bit for a minute, but the feeling will pass, and its probably not nearly as bad as you thought it would be. Practice tolerating your emotions or finding other ways to deal with your stress.
If you feel the need to eat, try hard, crunchy foods they help relieve stress by putting tight jaw muscles to work. Try snacking on a handful of almonds, soy nuts, or baby carrots.
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Stress Eating Of Unhealthy Food Causes Inflammation Heart Disease And Low Energy
“What happens if we dont manage stress? It sends our hormones into chaos. The result is a rise in adrenaline and cortisone levels, brain shrinkage, and extra weight around your waistline. The worst part is you lose control,” Dr. Masly writes on his website. If we can tame our stress by exercising, finding joy in our daily lives, expressing love, and eating a healthy diet of high fiber foods, such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds, we can lower our daily stress.
“Everything gets better when you improve your diet: Your circulation, your sex life, and your stress,” he says. When you eat healthy plant-based foods high in fiber and minimally processed the gut releases healthy bacteria which allows the body to operate calmly, without inflammation, so your blood circulation improves, oxygen and energy flows better to your cells, and you have more energy and feel calmer. This healthy gut bacteria not only protects us from heart disease but other conditions like high blood pressure and weight gain.
Recognize Your Emotional Eating Patterns To Avoid Stress Eating
In order to understand how to stop stress eating, its helpful to recognize your personal triggers: when, where, and why youre eating.Dr. Sherry Pagoto from the University of Massachusetts Medical Schoolrecommends keeping a food journal and recording your reason for eating right alongside the list of what you ate.
You can also try the H.A.L.T. method for helping you identify what you feel when you eat. When you track these emotions alongside your food intake, youll start to see the patterns in your eating behavior. Do you always end up binging on potato chips after a difficult day at work? Do you tend to eat ice cream at night when youre feeling lonely?
The tendency to eat in stressful times is a learned response: the more often you use food to cope with stress, the stronger the habit becomes. Eating high-fat, high-sugar foods reinforce this association between food and comfort, according to a2015 study from the University of California Davis. Once you recognize this pattern, though, you can take steps to change it and better control your stress eating.
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