Are You Stress Eating?
Stress… we all deal with it. It’s unavoidable in fact but there are ways to cope with it and lessen its effects on our minds and habits that form as a result. Eating is a coping mechanism for stress because when we eat something (Especially satisfying) just to eat it, it is a sure sign of stress eating.
Let’s delve further into the issues of emotional eating and pinpoint exactly why we stress eat and how to stop doing it!
Why We Turn To Food?
A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that about one-fourth of Americans rated their stress levels at about 8, with a 10 showing the most stress. It’s a pretty discouraging statistic as we all know stress is no fun mentally or physically as it can cause a host of health problems.
When stress persists, it increases appetite, which also bad for unnecessary weight gain, which will lead to even more health problems.
The Side Effects
Anything that is bad or unhealthy for our bodies are going to produce negative side effects. It’s just the unfortunate consequences that we must endure when bad choices are made.
These side effects include:
• Weight gain
• Bad habits
Weight gain is an obvious side effect of overeating. It can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, and even early death. Not to mention the fact that the appearance of the extra weight gain can play a toll on you emotionally.
A study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found evidence of overweight people being 55% more likely to become depressed compared to people of a normal weight. So, as you can see, stress eating must be managed, and better coping habits are crucial to living a normal healthy life.
Habits take about a month to change but only those who are truly fed up with their bad habits will make the decision to seek help.
How To Put A Stop To Stress Eating
There needs to be an ending in sight. Your well-being depends on it! Pick up a good book, join a health club, find hobbies and talk to a therapist about your stress eating problems. These are all ways you can put a stop to stress eating. Pick out your stressors and deal with them persistently one by one until they no longer cause impulsive coping behaviors. Informing loved ones of your behavior and they may very well be open to supporting and encouraging you in the recovery process.
Danielle Shelov, Ph.D., who specializes in eating behaviors says, “The best way to stop feeding our feelings is to let ourselves feel them.” We tend to want to numb the feelings but unless we accept them, we cannot devise a plan of action to deal with them. Make this a priority and be creative in the way that you deal with the issues on a daily basis.
It’s true… stress will never completely go away but if you heed to the information about the negative effects and decide that it’s time to end it right now, you’ll thank yourself later in life. How we treat our bodies and minds right now will determine how we function and feel later in life.
Finding food-free ways to cope with stress and getting in touch with our feelings teaches us to not cover them up but to understand why we turn to eating in the first place.
Don’t be ashamed to help yourself overcome stress eating because you have one body and it’s essential that you keep it as healthy and functional as possible!