Tips to Stop Emotional Eating Caused By Stress
Understand and find ways to combat emotional eating caused by stress.
Are you feeling the stress weighing down on you? Do you find yourself reaching for that tub of ice cream or a bag of chips when things get overwhelming? We’ve all been there, and it’s called emotional eating.
Mental stress and emotional eating are two interconnected topics that can have a significant impact on a person’s overall health and well-being. Stress can lead you to find comfort in emotional eating, which can result in weight gain and more serious health issues.
Emotional eating is often used as a coping mechanism for stress, but it can become a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. You’ll soon find the added weight and health issues to only cause more stress and make you find solace in eating more.
Table of Contents
- What is Psychological Stress?
- Causes of Psychological Stress
- What is Emotional Eating?
- Causes of Emotional Eating
- Tips to Fix Emotional Eating Caused By Stress
- Foods That Calm Stress
What is Psychological Stress?
Psychological stress is your body’s natural response to situations that are perceived as challenging or threatening. So how does it work? When your brain perceives a threat, it activates the stress response, which involves the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
This is a natural response that prepares your body for a fight or flight situation, which can be helpful in short-term stress. However, prolonged stress can have negative effects on the body, including an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, inflammation, and diabetes.
Causes of Psychological Stress
There are 5 common causes of psychological stress, including:
- Work-related stress: This can be caused by job insecurity, long working hours, lack of support from colleagues or management, and a high workload.
- Financial stress: This can be caused by debt, unemployment, or living paycheck to paycheck.
- Relationship stress: This can be caused by conflicts with a partner, family member, or friend.
- Health-related stress: This can be caused by chronic illness, injury, or disability.
- Environmental stress: This can be caused by natural disasters, pollution, or noise.
What is Emotional Eating?
Emotional eating is the consumption of food in response to emotional triggers, such as stress, anxiety, sadness, or boredom. Emotional eating is often used as a coping mechanism for stress, but it can become a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. Emotional eating can lead to overeating, which can result in weight gain and negative feelings about oneself.
Causes of Emotional Eating
Emotional eating can be caused by various factors including:
Stress is a common trigger for emotional eating, as individuals may turn to food as a coping mechanism to deal with negative feelings.
Boredom can also lead to emotional eating, as food can provide a sense of pleasure and alleviate boredom.
Anxiety and depression can manifest as emotional eating, where individuals use food to self-soothe or as a form of distraction.
Childhood habits can also contribute to emotional eating, as some people may have learned to use food as a way to cope with negative emotions during their upbringing.
Lastly, social pressure to eat or not to eat certain foods can also lead to emotional eating.
Tips to Fix Emotional Eating Caused By Stress
- Identify the triggers: The first step to fixing emotional eating is to identify the triggers that lead to it. Keeping a food diary can help identify patterns in eating behavior and what emotions trigger it.
- Find alternative coping mechanisms: Finding alternative coping mechanisms to deal with stress can help break the cycle of emotional eating. Examples of healthy coping mechanisms include exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and talking to a friend or therapist.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and non-judgmentally observing one’s thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness can help individuals become more aware of their emotions and the triggers that lead to emotional eating.
- Eat a balanced diet: Eating a natural, balanced diet that includes whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can help reduce cravings and promote feelings of satiety.
- Avoid restrictive diets: Restrictive diets can lead to feelings of deprivation and increase the likelihood of emotional eating. Instead, focus on incorporating healthy foods into the diet and allowing for occasional treats.
- Seek professional help: If emotional eating is severe or persistent, seeking the help of a therapist or registered dietitian can be beneficial. These professionals can provide support and guidance on how to break the cycle of emotional eating and address the underlying causes of psychological stress.
- Practice self-care: Engaging in self-care activities, such as getting enough sleep, taking breaks throughout the day, and engaging in hobbies, can help reduce stress levels and promote emotional well-being.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water throughout the day can help reduce feelings of hunger and promote feelings of fullness.
- Plan ahead: Planning ahead and having healthy snacks readily available can help reduce the likelihood of reaching for unhealthy foods during times of stress or emotional triggers.
- Practice moderation: Practicing moderation and allowing for occasional indulgences can help prevent feelings of deprivation and reduce the likelihood of binge eating.
Foods That Calm Stress
Sometimes emotional eating caused by stress is just inevitable. There will be days where the urge to snack will overcome your willpower. Fortunately there are certain foods that can help to calm your mind and body. So if you are going to stress eat, try munching on some foods that can help reduce stress:
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains compounds that can increase the production of endorphins, which can help to reduce stress.
- Fatty Fish: Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve mood.
- Avocado: Avocado is a great source of healthy fats and contains potassium, which can help to regulate blood pressure and reduce stress.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium, which can help to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
- Chamomile Or Barley Tea: Chamomile tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Barley tea also has strong antioxidants and can help you feel full.
- Berries: Berries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve mood.
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are rich in magnesium and other nutrients that can help to reduce stress.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal, contain complex carbohydrates that can help to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce stress.
- Fermented Foods: Fermented foods, such as kimchi and yogurt, contain probiotics that can help to improve gut health and reduce stress.
- Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, are rich in vitamin C, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve mood.
- Break Free From Trauma Loop: Regain Control Of Your Mind
- Sipnutri Korean Panax Ginseng Drink – Ginseng’s Beauty and Health Benefits