You’ve been putting in extra-long days at work. Your partner is really annoying you. You have 501 things on your to-do list. So what do you do? You make a beeline to the fridge and stuff your face with sugary, carb-laden foods you know you’ll regret later. Stress eating is more common than you think, but luckily, there are strategies to help:
1. Check In with Your Hunger Level
Are you eating because you are actually hungry? Or because of a habit or emotion? Becoming aware of your body’s sensations is a great first step in empowered eating. The more in touch you are with why you’re actually reaching for that box of biscuits, the better you can control the unhealthy eating habits.
2. Take a Break
If you start feeling the urge to eat away your stress, take a short break from what you are doing. Go for a walk around the block, your house or your office. Changing up our physiology can have an immediate effect on our thoughts. These practices take just a few minutes and can help you disconnect from the stress.
3. Keep the bad foods away.
You know the saying “out of sight, out of mind”? This especially goes for junk food. During times of high stress, stocking your kitchen with foods like veggies and hummus dips, nuts and avocados to keep your energy levels up and blood sugar levels balanced.
4. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Eating habits tend to decline with disrupted sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep, our adrenals become imbalanced, our cortisol levels rise and we find ourselves wanting to indulge our cravings. It really is possible to get an early night, so do it.
5. Stay Hydrated
Drinking lots of water is always important, but even more so during times of high stress. Often we think we’re hungry or tired, but actually we’re actually dehydrated. Instead of that sugary drink that we think will calm us down, reach for a glass of water, or if you prefer warm drinks, a cup of tea.
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