60% of the population overeat. Stress could be one reason this is happening. Most people are at home all day, and the kitchen cupboard is always beckoning.
Many people, both women, and men struggle with anxiety and stress. Most tend to rely on food to help them through their struggle with these conditions. Which is causing our population to overeat and become overweight and very unhealthy. Food tends to offer a great, but temporary fix to our suffering. Let’s face it, eating makes us feel good.
When we eat it sets off a cascade of pleasurable feelings. But overeating feels good in the moment, not the long run. This makes it easy to forget about our anxiety and stress. But when we do this, what we are doing is using food and overeating to solve a problem. That problem tends to be a temporary fix for stress.
People that experience stress and emotional overeating tend to experience feelings of guilt afterward. Which fuels the problem. Look at this great article on stress, overeating, and the reward system. It will give you some insight into why we develop these behaviors.
When we get the urge to overeat, whether from stress or another emotion. Try to choose healthy snacks and food. One thing we can do is not have unhealthy food in our homes. This will help you snack healthier and curb your wanting to overeat. I often find if it is a healthy snack we tend not to overeat.
There are foods that are often called trigger foods, we all have them. Trigger foods are those types of foods that cause you to crave them and possibly overeat. These types of foods are often eaten out of habit, not hunger. Causing us to overeat through a kind of self-medication. When we had those family gatherings and celebrations as a young child, the food that was often prepared for those occasions are often your trigger foods.
How can we overcome trigger foods and help stop our overeating? Look at some rituals you can try out below.
Before deciding if you’re hungry or stress eating you could:
- Take three deep breaths.
- Drink a large glass of water.
- Check when the last time you ate was.
- Make sure you are hungry.
- Go for a walk or exercise.
To help with your stress levels, try meditating, or practicing yoga. We have some great articles on how to start these practices in our health blog. See the articles here.
Stress and Overeating seem to go hand in hand for most people. How we deal with stress is truly a personal journey. When we add overeating to the mix, it is a vicious cycle. Overeating and causing our health to fail is just adding to our stress. This causes more overeating and so it goes on. Follow the steps above. They could just save your life if not at the very least help to ease your stress.
As always, leave me a comment. Tell me how you deal with Stress and overeating.
Yours in health. Sarah.