It is not a secret that everyone has experienced stress eating at least once in their life. It is a usual scenario when one experiences a sudden stressful activity. Such might be a sudden influx of workload and tight deadlines. What follows is the immediate desire to eat whatever it is that you have been craving since last week. You will feel that a single serving is not enough at the moment.
While emotional eating is a common effect of stress, it does not produce any good result to anyone. Maybe it somehow helps us feel better, but the long-term effects are not worth it. Find out how you can manage and control emotional eating in no time:
- Track What You Eat
Keep a food diary. If you are a calorie-conscious person, then keeping track of your food intake will help. Jot down what you ate for breakfast, what you had for lunch, and every drink or small snack that you took for the whole day. Once you have a record, there is a chance that you might find some connection between your mood and the food you eat.
When you feel like stress eating, keep in mind your calorie goal for the day. Think of the possible consequences on your fitness goals if you grab those multiple servings of sweets from your cabinet. While cheat days are completely tolerable, frequent and excessive eating is detrimental not only to your physical figure but also to your mental health.
- Stock Up On Healthy Snacks
There are other healthy alternatives to the food you are craving. On your next grocery shopping, look for other options other than junk food and fatty snacks. As an example, you can opt for a frozen yogurt rather than a pint of ice cream. Aside from the fact that yogurt is good for the digestive system, it is also helpful in maintaining our body weight as it does not have many calories.
When we are stressed, we often crave for junk food or meals from fast-food chains. Bear in mind that this stuff mostly contains excessive fats, calories, carbohydrates, and processed sugar that are harmful to the body. Make sure that there are available healthy snacks near you for your emergency stress eating.
- Ask Yourself If You Are Truly Hungry
Every time you feel like you are about to stress-eat, ask yourself first if you are really physically hungry. Maybe you only need to drink water, breathe, and de-stress for a while. Make it a habit to do this self-questioning so that you’ll know when the hunger is real or it’s only an unhealthy urge to stress-eat.
- Find Emotional Support
Most of the time, we only need someone to listen to how our whole day went. It will not only address emotional eating but will also be beneficial to our mental health in the long run. Emotional support can be the best cure for our stress.
Let’s all admit that stress and mild anxiety have already been a norm in our lives nowadays. Nonetheless, it does not mean that we have to accept that it will eventually go away on its own. Having healthy alternatives alone will not cure the cause of stress-eating. We also need our own determination to live healthily and the support of others for a better us in the long run.