What is Stress Eating?
Do you ever wonder… what is stress eating? It’s a bad habit many of us have become accustomed to, where we eat bad foods, and we overeat them when we feel stressed. It might make us feel more comfortable temporarily and more in control of our life, but we are only hurting ourselves. Here are some things to know about stress eating.
How Stress Eating Can Develop
First of all, it helps to know exactly how stress eating develops. Not everyone who has large amounts of stress will use eating bad foods to feel better or to hide negative feelings. However, someone who often turns to food to hide their feelings, such as someone with an overeating problem or an emotional overeater, might also turn to food during times of stress. Emotional overeating isn’t just caused by stress; it can be brought on by happy, angry, sad, good, and/or bad emotions.
Some studies suggest stress eating might be due to hunger hormones that aren’t functioning as they should, and that can peak when you get stressed out. If you find you actually feel hungrier when you are stressed and aren’t just looking for a distraction, this might be what is causing you to stress eat.
Signs You Are Stress Eating
Not everyone who stress eats is aware of it, as you might just think you have a large appetite or simply can’t control how much bad food you eat. Keeping a journal can help you look for patterns of stress eating, such as certain days where you always head to the McDonald’s drive-thru after getting into a fight with your significant other, or wanting to eat an entire pint of ice cream after a hard day at work. These are classic signs of stress eating. Here are some additional signs that you may be stress eating:
- You gain weight during stressful times in your life
- When you eat what you want, it makes you feel happier
- You feel a sense of urgency in terms of eating certain foods
- After a long day, food is the only thing you can think about
- You have uttered (or thought) the words “I need this to feel better”
What Can Be Done About It
Now that you know what stress eating is, it’s time to get it under control. While you might not be able to completely avoid it, here are some tricks and tips that can help make the process easier.
Meditation – Meditation is a great way to ground yourself and focus on your mind without letting your stress overwhelm you. It takes practice, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t pick up on it right away. Try a few minutes of meditation each day, and let your mind clear itself.
Aromatherapy – Relieving stress with natural and healthy remedies is important if you want to avoid stress eating. Aromatherapy is one way to do that and uses scents that help to provide focus and relaxation.
Food replacement – Replace the bad foods you tend to eat when you’re stressed with healthier alternatives. Instead of a plate of nachos, eat tortilla chips with salsa. Eat low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream or a low sugar granola bar instead of a candy bar.
Portion control – Put out the portion you will eat and then put the rest away. A small dish of frozen yogurt rather than having the entire pint in your hand is a really good idea. Make it harder and more effort to overeat, and you will be doing your body and your mind a favor!
My friend and colleague, Shirly J Noah, and I have created a wonderful course for you so you understand stress and what steps to take to make it release its hold on your life! Check it out here while it’s available at special pricing and start your journey toward a life with less stress!
There are lots of wonderful bonuses too! The special pricing only lasts for a few days, so I don’t want you to miss it.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
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