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  • Writer's pictureKate Wood

4 Steps to Curb Stress Eating

During stressful times, it's easy to turn to food to try to comfort ourselves.  As I've been experiencing the urge to stress eat during a particularly crazy time, I've researched how to avoid it.  Here's what I've found:

  • When we're stressed, we often reach for sugary, fatty, or high carbohydrate foods.

  • The "comfort sensation" we feel from these foods lasts about 20 minutes, and then we're left craving more.

  • Stress eating often leads to more stress because we know we're not coping in a healthy way and may start gaining unnecessary weight. 

  • Exercise, meditation, and reaching out for support are all effective ways to counteract the urge to stress eat. 

  • "Mindful eating may not only prevent weight gain, but it may also address problematic eating behaviors such as binge and emotional eating, as well as eating as a response to external cues." - Dr. Erin Nitschke. You can read more about mindful eating here.

Here is the system I am trying to curb stress eating.  By putting some time between the initial "I want to eat" feeling and my response, I am hoping to make healthier, more mindful choices.  1. Set the timer for 10 minutes. 2. Drink a glass of water. 3. After 10 minutes is up, re-evaluate whether I'm truly hungry or not. 4. If I am legitimately hungry, I will aim for a healthy choice.


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