Stress can occur for many reasons, so it is best to know how to ensure you don’t over eat because of that stress. There is a good chance you already know most of the reasons – they tend to be common sense or we’ve heard them many times before – but it is good to keep them in mind when stress starts to get the better of you.
People tend to stress eat, which can have a soothing effect, but the excess calories are harmful and cause more stress over time. When the body gets used to the extra calories, it can lead to a person eating when they aren’t hungry and failing to eat when they should. It is particularly dangerous to eat too much in a single sitting or drinking (particularly alcohol). It is important to be careful to consume small amounts of alcohol as it doesn’t take much to affect sleep, cause a person to gain weight, and make a person less capable of making decisions.
Eating comfort foods during times of high stress is fine – but it needs to be on the rare occasion; not a regular basis. If you are stress eating once a week or even once a month, you need to be careful. Here are the things to keep in mind to make sure that stress eating remains a rare occurrence, and not a go to habit.
- Limit how much you indulge before you start. The stress eating should be controlled. Keep it to one or two small desserts, a single glass of wine, bottle of beer, or one or two scoops of ice cream. You should not feel full after stress eating.
- Create portions ahead of the stress. If you know that you are going to be under considerable stress, take the time to create small portions so that you don’t overeat.
- Try to move to plant-based stress foods. There are plenty of healthier options that are low in calories while being healthier. You can start to make the switch over time so that eventually you are eating something natural and healthy instead of just junk.
- Cook your comfort foods and use healthier ingredients.
- Try for finger foods that keep your hands working. The constant movement can help you to relieve some of the stress. If you make your comfort foods lower calorie, this can help you feel less stress without increasing your calories.
- Add tea to reduce stress. Tea is great for sipping to help relieve stress cravings.
If you would like to learn more, check out How to Cope with Stress Eating through the 2020 Election. Be aware that you will need to bolster yourself though because some of the food looks amazing.