Drop that fifth donut!
Stress eating is a tough battle but it needs to be fought before you and your body take a turn for the worse. If you find yourself nibbling at the slightest increase of anxiety, you might be a stress-snacker. When you start snacking under stress, this can become a poor coping mechanism and can lead to a negative perception about yourself. However, by developing healthy eating habits, you can improve your life and avoid binges.
Identify What's Stressing You
In order to solve the problem, you need to identify it. To break the cycle of stress snacking, keep track of the things you eat and how you feel when you eat them. This could be as easy as writing it down on sticky notes or developing a long-term journal.
Plan Your Snacks
It's impossible for most people to totally cut snacking out of their daily routine, but if your snacking is getting out of control, schedule best times to eat. This could an hour before lunch or an hour before dinner, two times people struggle with the most. Write your snack time down to make yourself more accountable.
Replace Snacking With Activity
If you are feeling especially anxious, take your energy outside and sneak some exercise into your day. Not only will a short walk in the park or jog in the gym divert you from the desire to eat, it will burn excess calories. Replacing activity with food will also help you find a more positive outlet than eating.
Know When You're Hungry
If you're trying to avoid snacking under stress, identify when you are hungry and when you are not. As simple as it sounds, there are deep psychological roots to the way we eat and how we feel about ourselves. If you have noticed a strong tendency to eat when you are not hungry, perhaps speaking to a therapist will ease the strain?
Eat Foods That Fight Stress
In order to avoid stress, eat foods that fight it. Check out the list below in order to start rethinking your comfort foods:
- Asparagus is high in folate which helps reduce stress build up in the body.
- Avocados provide beta carotene, a component that's also known to reduce stress.
- Blueberries have also been known to reduce stress and improve cognition.