Stress Eating – to define it, it is “a pattern of eating where people use food to help them deal with stressful situations.”
Triggers increasing Stress Eating:
- BOREDOM – this is probably the most well known and most common reason for stress eating – when people are actively doing something, food isn’t a priority to them, however when people have nothing to do, eating becomes something they can focus and something to keep them satisfied.
- HABITS – for example, it could be a habit in some households to have ice-cream after a good report-card, or bake with the grandparents every Sunday.
- FATIGUE – food can provide an escape from jobs people don’t want to do, so people tend to overeat in order to give them ‘energy’ or ‘help them stay awake’
- SOCIAL INFLUENCES – being around friends or family in general can cause people to eat overly, especially if friends want to get pizza after a night out, or your family want to order takeaway
In order to control Stress Eating, one must accept that there are certain triggers that will increase the likelihood of them eating more than they usually do, and try to limit the effect of those triggers.
- To tackle boredom, try reading a book or watching a film.
- To tackle habits, make an agreement with your family to come up with a new healthier habit. Eg. try making healthier versions of the foods you used to bake
- To tackle fatigue, try finding a hobby that relaxes you, like yoga or going for a walk
- To tackle social influences, talk to your friends and family and make a ‘night-out’ or ‘takeaway night’ a treat or a reward for a good day
If managing your triggers is seeming very difficult, you can always go to a nutritionist or therapist for more professional help specific to you and your needs.
Finally, I’m going to give some tips that can hep with distinguishing between physical and emotional hunger:
- the hunger isn’t as urgent or sudden unless it has been a while since last eating
- no particular craving for food, they will eat anything
- not likely to eat mindlessly
- hunger originates from the stomach (rumbling)
- no feelings of guilt after eating
- hunger hits quickly and urgently
- specific cravings, for example chips or pizza
- tends to eat mindlessly and overly without realising
- hunger comes from the head – a person thinks about their craving
- can cause feelings of regret or guilt
Thank you for reading this weeks blog, if you want more blogs like these make sure to comment down below!