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How to stop “Stress Eating”?

crop woman eating crispy chips

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Being stuck at home during Covid-19 seems stressful for everyone. Although, it is the best way to protect ourselves from this pandemic. Everyone has a different way to deal with stressful situations. Some people are not able to eat when they are under stress. But some people turn to food when they feel stressed out by any circumstances like work, family etc. In which category of people do you see yourself? If you see yourself in the second category, where people turn to food when they feel stressed out, then you are not alone. This type of eating is called stress eating or emotional eating.

For emotional eaters, stress acts as a trigger. In a stressful situation, a person wants to avoid pain. They think that turning their minds towards eating can help them to ease their pain. But stress eating is not good at all. It will have an impact on your weight and overall health.  How to stop “Stress Eating”? If you want the answer to this question, you can save yourself from stress eating.  It doesn’t matter whether you are stuck at home or in any other stressful situation. You will know the ways to handle it.

Evaluate Yourself

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To solve some problems, you need to understand the root cause of the problem. In the same way, to stop unusual eating, you need to know why it is happening. What is the root cause of it? Are you bored, or something is bothering you?

It is crucial to understand whether you’re eating to satisfy hunger or another reason. What should you do to find out the cause? Pause for a second before you start eating and evaluating yourself. How are you feeling at this moment, such as stress, boredom, loneliness, or anxiety? It will help you to understand the reason for overeating. Also, you can find a solution to avoid it.

Think about Long-term Goals

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Never let stress dominate you. You should know how to deal with particular stressful circumstances. Whenever you think stress is towering over you, pause to think about your long term goals. Where are you witnessing yourself in the next few years healthwise? If you have a weight loss goal, how much will it affect the hard work you are doing for it? Overweight, suffering from diseases, lying over the bed all the time is not what you want in your future. Think about all these things before you surrender to stress eating. A single moment is enough to change a life. Instead of giving in to a tasty treat, the healthier food choices will get you close to your goal.

Remove Tempting Food 

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Jar of cookies or candies can attract you more and may lead to overeating. These are tempting foods that tempt you all the time. Always keep tempting food in the cupboard, away from your eyesight. And keep the healthy food options in visual exposure. It will help you to control your cravings. Also, if you are stressed and looking for something to eat, you will end up with something healthy.

There is no harm in enjoying tasty cookies or chocolate occasionally, even if you’re not feeling hungry. But frequent snacking can lead to harmful results for physical and mental health. It is essential to take small steps to stop it if you are a stress eater.

Get Support

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It would be best to make a network of people that keep you positive and focused when you are stressed. Your mates should stick around you, chat with you, engage you in some activity so that you don’t find eating is the only way to deal with the stress. It will help you to continue a healthy lifestyle. 

Don’t keep everything in your mind. It is better to make it empty and refill it with good and positive thoughts. Share your feelings and unpleasant experiences that cause stress to you with your family or close friends. You can also take advice from a professional counsellor if you want. As per studies, if people have strong support networks, they have better mental health. 

Stay Hydrated

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Stay hydrated because it will help you to stop stress eating. As per research, there is a link between prolonged dehydration and a high risk of obesity. Not only this, dehydration can lead to a bad mood and low energy level.

It is easy to fight dehydration. If you cannot drink simple water, I have a simple trick to give it a flavour. Take a glass of water, add a few fresh fruit slices to increase the water’s taste and enjoy your drink.

Overeating while you are stressed out seems an easy decision, but it is not. It will harm you in the long run.

Physical Activities Reduce Stress

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Less activity leads to boredom, stress and can increase snacking frequency also. But you can deal with it. Why don’t you try daily physical activity? Yes, gyms are closed in this pandemic, but a home workout is not a bad option. Many fitness YouTube channels can guide you for a home workout without any equipment needed. Physical activities produce happy hormones in the body and cause some chemical changes in the mind that reduce stress. But there are chances where anxiety stops you from taking your first step. At that moment, you need to push yourself. When you take your first step, your mood will change instantly. 

If some circumstances make it difficult for you to do exercises at home, try to increase the amount of walking and other household activities.

Try Meditation and Yoga

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When the desire to eat smashes you, try some techniques to feel relaxed. Did you know that mindfulness-based exercises and programs like meditation and yoga can help you to calm the mind and the body? Meditation and yoga make you attentive, calm and focused. And you will make smarter and healthier lifestyle choices. It is one of the best relaxing techniques.

These super simple tips can save you from stress eating. Also, it will improve your overall health. Stress eating and physical hunger are two different things. And you need to understand that. Pay heed to the ‘why’s of what your body is craving. Trust me; once you get the answer, you’ll have a better knowledge of how to stop stress-eating.

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