Why You May Be Anxiety Eating and How to Avoid It
Eating may seem like a great way to relieve stress, especially if you’re feeling lonely, depressed, or anxious. Unfortunately, it may be challenging to break the habit of eating while under stress, which can lead to excessive weight gain. Eating while stressed is counterproductive to weight maintenance.
Eating for emotional comfort rather than physical hunger is a losing game plan. Whether you suffer from an anxiety illness or live under constant pressure, you can control your stress eating with a few easy strategies.
Strive for Harmony
When under pressure, most individuals don’t go for a plate of vegetables and broccoli but rather a plate of cookies or a bag of potato chips. Even if you eat a lot, it would be hard to go overboard with grilled chicken breast.
While foods high in sugar and fat may temporarily dull feelings, they also cause an increase in blood sugar before crashing it. The next thing you know, you’re back to feeling hungry and heading straight for more stress eating.
Instead of reaching for the Oreos and potato chips, try to strike a balance between protein and fiber since they are processed more slowly and hence have a more progressive effect on blood sugar levels.
We prefer guiding folks toward sources of carbohydrates like berries and melon since nibbles like crackers might be a trigger, driving them to swallow an entire box. It is a great idea to eat them with a protein-rich side dish like hard-boiled whites, Greek yogurt, or cheddar cheese.
Eat at Consistent Times
Without regard to anxiety levels, those who go too long between meals are more likely to overeat when they do finally eat again.
Don’t overindulge at one sitting; rather, eat healthy, small meals every 3 to 4 hours. Regular meals like this may help you manage your weight by reducing the impulse to overeat and the impact of stress on your appetite. The objective is to achieve fullness without resorting to food.
For those whose stress levels remain consistently high, regular mindfulness exercise may help mitigate impulsive eating, according to a study released in February 2017. The individuals in the research, released in the magazine Appetite, exercised for 45 minutes each day, nearly every day of the week, and then also engaged in other mindfulness activities, such as consciously eating 1 meal each day. Some simple techniques to incorporate greater awareness into your meals and reduce stress-related munching are as follows:
- Taking one’s time and eating mindfully.
- Taking a few slow breaths before every meal.
- Between nibbles, put aside your fork or spoon.
Prepare a Healthy and Secure Dining Area
This includes putting down the phone or television and really eating your food. Instead of eating in front of the fridge, move your meal to the kitchen table or, better yet, the dining room.
In addition, you may ensure that your dining environment is beneficial rather than detrimental by not leaving food out where others can see it and putting it away after serving to reduce requests for more.
Literally, don’t pass your go-to fast food joint on the way home if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You need to refocus your attention on stress relief strategies that do not include eating.