Stress eating is a vicious cycle. You eat to try and relieve stress, but then you feel guilty afterwards for giving in to your cravings. How can you break the loop? It’s not easy, but there are some things you can do to get a grip on it.
Do you find yourself eating more when stressed? You are not alone. Many people have found themselves resorting to stress eating, especially during times of high stress such as the holidays. In this article we will give 3 steps to help control your cravings and stop stressing about food!
What is Stress Eating?
Stress eating is defined as “uncontrolled and excessive intake of food in response to a stressor”. When we are stressed, our brains release dopamine which functions the same way that drugs do by stimulating pleasure centers in the brain. This process can lead us to eat impulsively without being properly nourished.
It’s important not only to identify what you’re feeling when you feel like overeating but also take steps to avoid those feelings such as reaching out for support from friends or family members about your emotions rather than turning down on an unhealthy meal at home. Eating healthy foods (instead of comfort foods) will help with this too! You may even want try keeping snacks around so that if cravings hit they have a healthy option to satisfy the craving.
What Can Cause Stress Eating?
There are a few factors that can contribute to to stress eating such as;
- You’re hungry when you don’t need to be (possibly because of skipping a meal or two)
- Your body is craving something sweet, salty, or fatty foods
- You have an emotional response that triggers your desire for high calorie comfort foods. It could be anything from boredom and sadness to anger and loneliness.
Other factors include:
- The time of day
- Stressful life events
- Certain foods that you eat more frequently than others and the reactions to those foods.
Please note: Stress eating is not a healthy way of dealing with stress, but it’s important to know what can cause this behavior so we can help fight against it. If these tips don’t work for you, please seek professional assistance from a mental health practitioner.
What Kind of Foods are Associated With Stress Eating?
Sugar: cookies, cake, ice cream
Sugary foods trigger trigger stress eating because they release serotonin, which makes you feel better.
Fried foods: chips, french fries
Deep fried foods may trigger high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. High levels of this hormone can make it difficult to lose weight or maintain a healthy heart and metabolism.
Cheese: pizza, macaroni and cheese
Some people crave dairy products when feeling stressed because these food sources contain tryptophan – an amino acid that is converted into serotonin in the brain. Dairy also contains protein for energy to fuel your workout after eating comfort food!
Salty snacks: potato chips
The salt in salty snacks triggers cravings for more sodium as well as making us thirsty so we want drinks like sod
Fatty foods: bacon, sausage, burgers.
Fatty foods such as bacon, sausage and burgers are high in fat which triggers our leptin levels to increase – a hormone that signals the body that we’ve had enough food.
Some people turn to sugary energy drinks when feeling stressed – but this is never recommended as they can contain large amounts of caffeine and other substances such as taurine, guarana or ginseng among others.
How to Stop Stress Eating?
The best way to manage stress eating is by being proactive. You need an action plan that addresses your emotional and physical needs, for example: a monthly budget; regular workouts; establishing healthy sleep patterns (go to bed at the same time every night); scheduling downtime with yourself or people you love on your calendar as well as setting priorities and limits in all areas of life. This will help decrease the frequency of binges when they do happen. Make sure these interventions are sustainable long-term!
Furthermore, practice self-compassion during times of difficulty so you can learn how to be kinder to yourself without judgment and then use some practical strategies like journaling what triggers unwanted behaviors such as binge eating food because it helps release negative emotions.
Finally, think about your goals and what you are trying to accomplish. This will help keep stress eating in perspective. For example, if the goal is weight loss then it can be helpful to set up a plan for physical activity (e.g., running) or research which foods might not cause as much inflammation that may lead to weight gain (e.g., lean proteins).
Ultimately, remember: we all have bad days but by taking care of ourselves with these three steps – emotional self-care and practical strategies like journaling or setting priorities and limits; regular workouts; establishing healthy sleep patterns - we can learn how to manage our emotions without resorting to binge eating food!
Is Emotional Eating the Same as Stress Eating
What is stress eating? Stress eating can be defined as the occasional overeating in response to a stressful event or situation.
It’s common for people who are under chronic, long-term stress (e.g., caregivers) to use food as a coping mechanism and turn to comfort foods that might trigger cravings when they’re feeling stressed out. The problem with this type of behavior is that it often leads to weight gain and can be hard on your digestive system because quick calories don’t provide lasting energy or satiety.
Eating due to emotional reasons may have some similarities with what happens during an episode of stress eating but there are also important differences between these two types of behaviors: – Emotional eaters tend not to be as satisfied with the food they eat and often continue to feel hungry or crave sweet foods even after overeating – They also tend not to be in control of their eating behavior, which may lead them into a cycle where emotional stress provokes more emotional eating.
On the other hand, people who experience occasional episodes of stress-induced overeating are usually better able to stop when they realize what’s happening and have tended not to develop unhealthy habits that can result in weight gain over time.
The good news is there are some simple steps you can take today for controlling your stress-eating tendencies:
Figure out why you’re stressed” – Once we know how our bodies react during stressful times it becomes easier for us to identify triggers