That bag of potato chips can sometimes seem to be the easiest way to get out of a stressful situation and a good option to fight boredom! Stress eating or emotional eating is a situation where someone eats to feel good and pleasant, to cope up with trauma, to relieve stress, to fill in for boredom, rather than to satisfy hunger. The food that emotional eaters choose are usually high-fat, high in sodium and sugar, of course calorie dense, and bundled with ingredients that are extremely unhealthy for the human body. We all know stress can hugely impact appetite – for some it shuts off the hunger switch while for a majority out there, the stress hormone cortisol can trigger cravings for salty, sugary, and fatty food. The problem is that it’s really difficult to have a “zero stress day” and when we depend on food to help deal with stressors, it’s quite easy to overeat and indulge in binge eating. Also not to forget, food companies try to cash in on this factor and bring out stuff that’s “hyperpalatable” that stimulate the reward center of brain, triggering the release of “feel-good chemicals” such as dopamine that can keep people in a constant state of craving, creating a sort of addiction for such food. Research says that even “thinking” about food can get the brain to release dopamine and endorphins (the feel-good chemicals) so that you want to have more of such food, to actually “feel good.” Potato chips, ice cream, cookies, biscuits, chocolates, pizza, French fries, burgers, candies, can be termed as hyperpalatable because it’s really hard to stop overindulging in them. So, what’s the solution? Don’t fret because you can read about 7 Effective Ways To Stop Overeating When Anxious or Bored in this post.
7 Ways To Overeating When Anxious or Bored:
1. Find Ways To De-Stress: Tackle the root cause – if stress or boredom is making you reach out for food – find other ways to deal with it – for example, go for a walk, read, dance to your favorite music, talk to a friend, or discover a hobby that would help take your mind off sress.
2. Indulge in Protein and Fiber-Rich Snacks: Fiber and protein are macronutrients that keep you full for longer, curb cravings, and also help with the fat-burning process. Find weight-loss friendly protein and fiber-rich snacks on the Rati Beauty diet plan.
3. Get Enough Sleep: Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain and is considered one of the 5 major reasons you are not losing weight in the first place. Even the best diet and hours of exercise will not help you with losing weight if you don’t get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Sleep deprivation affects important hormones that are essential to lose weight, decreasing level of leptin (satiety hormone), increasing ghrelin (hunger hormone), and also shooting up cortisol (the stress hormone). Without enough sleep, these hormones will go out of whack, making you crave for sugary and high-calorie foods because your brain is looking for instant energy to make up for the lack of sleep.
4. Practice Mindful Eating: When you are trying to lose weight and get healthy in general, instead of cutting down on food, give more importance to eating right. Even if you are eating the healthiest of foods, if you don’t eat them mindfully, you would still gain weight. Mindful eating involves being conscious about the kind of food you choose to eat, the quantity you are consuming and helping you make the right kind of food choices. It makes you more aware of cues from the satiety hormone “leptin” on when to stop eating the moment you are full. If you are confused about how to practice mindful eating, read about “9 Mindful Eating Hacks to Eat Right and Lose Weight.”
5. Keep Sipping on Water: Dehydration is the most common reason that triggers an intense desire to have hyperpalatable foods like chips and salty food like French fries! We also often confuse thirst for hunger pangs. The solution is to keep yourself hydrated and when cravings for these high-fat crispy things hit, sip on a glass of water instead.
6. Don’t Stock up Processed Food: It becomes convenient to graze on high-calorie and packaged food when you are just bored and want to nibble on something to pass time when the pantry and kitchen has abundant packets of processed goodies. The “out of sight, out of mind” policy would work very well when you stop stocking up junk food in the kitchen.
7. Have Healthy Fats in your Diet: They keep you full and curb unnecessary cravings, and you know what’s absolutely great about healthy fats – they help burn stored fat! Avocado, coconut oil, walnuts, almonds, peanut butter, chia seeds are all great sources of healthy fats. Rati Beauty diet plan shows how you can eat them in the correct portions for weight loss.
With these tips, you can put a full stop to overeating and binge eating under stressful situations.