7 Ways to Control Stress Eating

Chew On This
3 min read
7 Ways to Control Stress Eating

According to a report published by Harvard Medical School, stress affects eating habits of the people in different ways. Usually when people are in mental or physical distress, they tend to eat more junk food high in fats and sugars.

These foods dampen the feelings of stress or emotions temporarily.

Stress eating can be accompanied by other behaviours like increase in alcohol intake, less sleep, lack of exercise, which also contributes to weight gain or obesity. Here are a few ways you can avoid stress eating.


Get Rid of Temptations

You may have a tradition at your home to welcome guests with a jar if candes or cookies at the counter or centre table. Perhaps you keep your fridge stacked with juices and colas incase someone comes to visit, or to satiate your nightly cravings.

If you have junk food around you, you may end up snacking and over eating frequently. According to a study published in PubMed central, foods in sight may trigger a part of the brain called striatum which results in impulsive behavior, overeating and cravings.

Plan a Meal Schedule 

You must always stick to a plan when it comes to eating. Frequent dietary changes may confuse your body and the digestive system may not be able to keep up with the changing pattern. You can keep a chart to plan your meals in your kitchen and plan two solid meals with a snack or three proper meals in a day depending on your appetite and eating habit.

Those who switched to work from home during the pandemic should be more careful about their changing snacking and eating habits.

Don't Restrict Yourself 

According to the US NIH, restricting yourself from foods for a long period of time means restricting your body from nutrients and cravings it needs on a daily basis. Strict diets may lead to over eating, binge-eating and consumption of high calorie foods even more.

At times, stressful situations may curb your appetite but make sure to stick to your eating routine.

Moreover, strict diets for weight loss are not effective in the long term and eventually lead to increase in stress levels.

Drink Enough Water

Stressful situations may make you lose track of your healthy lifestyle. Drinking water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It keeps you hydrated and prevents over eating during stressful situations.

According to the US NIH, stress can result in chronic dehydration which can further lead to change in mood, energy levels, lower attention levels, obesity etc.

Manage Your Portions

Portion control is an effective way to prevent eating more calories than required. You should avoid eating directly from packages or cans which the foods are sold in, you can serve food in small plates for yourself. These are small steps you can follow to keep a check on your portion size.

Choose Filling Foods

According to Healthline, choosing foods which are nutrient-dense, more filling and healthy can help you manage your weight, prevent over eating and curb cravings during stressful situations.

These filling foods are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats that cannot be broken down easily and take time to be digested by the body, thus keeping you feeling full for longer. Avocados, nuts, eggs, beans are few foods suggested by a study in PubMed Central.

Avoid Alcohol Intake 

Consumption of alcohol may be the most common way to unwind and get relief from stress and anxiety temporarily, but it increases frequency and severity of anxiety attacks in the long run. According to the US NIH, alcohol tends to lower inhibitions and promotes unhealthy cravings resulting in overeating.

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