Stress eating is a change in the eating pattern of an individual as a result of stress. Usually it could involve eating much more often or eating unhealthy foods like junk.
The major cause of stress eating is cortisol, the stress hormone. When our bodies are subjected to stress, we produce a hormone called cortisol. This hormone activates the appetite center in the brain and makes our intake of palatable foods high; foods with high saturated fats and particularly sweet foods.
In our society and communities, there are alot of people who indulge in stress eating. Some of these people are aware about the vice while some are not. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association tells us that almost 40% of the adults in America report overeating or consuming junk food in response to stress.
A nutritional psychologist, Amanda Baten in her explanation of stress eating confirms that the vice is just a kind of buffer just like alcohol or drugs that people subjected to stress use as a distraction.
However, just like drugs or alcohol, stress eating is not a solution to the stressors and should therefore be avoided because of it's effects to health. In this article, we shall go through how to identify stress eating and how to stop it.
1.How do you tell that you're stress eating?
A nutritional psychologist, Knott in her narrative explains that when people get into the mode of stress eating, it usually feels like it is part of their lives and very hard to recognize. She explains that stress eating is an autopilot mode.
“ Inorder to tell that you are stress eating, you ought to be alert to differentiate between physical hunger and emotional hunger. ” Knott emphasizes.
For example: if you are working on something and prefer to have a tin of biscuits to peck by your side, inorder to tell whether this is stress eating or not, you ought to be alert. If you don't have any signs of hunger such as headaches, bowl sounds of hunger, or weakness, this is certainly emotional hunger. Therefore, the conscious and ability to differentiate between physical and emotional hunger is the most basic way to tell stress eating.
2. How to stop stress eating?
- Now that you know how to strike a difference between hunger and stress eating, it is going to be easy to stop stress eating. As soon as you identify that picking that pack of biscuits is an emotional drive against stress, put it down and change the pattern.
- You can decide to move out of the house or walk away from the biscuits and have a nature walk, drinking water instead of eating the biscuits, or a quick meditation can help.
- Alternatively, you can decide to pick a stress relief supplement. During times of stress, distraction of stress is the worst possible way of managing it as this keeps the stress growing.
- The best way of managing stress is through facing it. Addressing the issues causing stress is the bottom line and then availing your body with components to relax it from the stress episode. Components like magnesium glycinate relax the brain and make the best stress relief supplements.
Supplementing your body with these after an episode of stress will boost your brain, improve focus, concentration and memory. You may decide to use the supplements even before an episode of stress, this will keep your mood lighter throughout the time and heighten your emotional trigger threshold.