Stress Eating

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stress eating

We all do it from time to time. We eat because we are stressed. We have too much to do in too little time, but stress eating doesn’t help you lose weight.

You just got home from work and the kids ask for dinner before you rush out for a night of soccer and dance classes. You throw in a quick load of laundry and either grab something quick form the freezer or decide to stop for fast food on the way.

With today’s busy lifestyles it is hard to find the time to sit down for a nice meal, let alone prepare it. Thinking about everything we cram into a single day and everything left on your to-do list can lead to stress eating and therefore expand your waistline instead of slimming it down.

What is stress eating?
Stress eating occurs when we try to solve problems or conflicts by eating. We try to soothe the pressure we feel at work and resolve family conflict my crunching on chips and having cheesecake melt in our mouths.

Why do we stress eat?
Eating when you are stressed is just a way of distracting yourself. You momentarily forget about the real issue and you eat for pleasure and comfort.

Why is it bad to eat when we are stressed?
  • Most often you will reach for pre-processed food.
  • It can slow your metabolism, making it nearly impossible to lose weight.
  • You may experience mood swings and fatigue.
  • You will store larger amounts of fat.
  • You will increase your cravings for junk food.
  • You will take in more calories than you burn.

What are some alternatives to stress eating?
It is important to find other ways to distract yourself and deal with your stress. Having a coping strategy in place will allow you to stay on track and lose weight.

  • Keep plenty of healthy foods on hand at home, at the office and in the car.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Find new activities to keep busy while allowing yourself to relax.
  • Plan down time during the day.
  • Find support. Call or email a friend when you are having a weak moment.
  • Don’t forget about exercise.

Stress is a natural part of life and it can’t be avoided, but you can learn how to handle it so it does not interfere with your weight loss goals.

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