Eating to calm your nerves” is a familiar idea to many people who find themselves in a stressful situation. If for some the arrival of a stressful event or an emotional shock is synonymous with a lack of appetite, for others the ideal solution is to throw themselves on food to temporarily channel their emotions. And yes, who hasn’t comforted themselves after a hard day’s work by swallowing a quantity of chocolate bars, crisps or ice cream? But resorting to such a solution can be negative if we lose control, that is, if eating becomes the most adequate and common response for us to deal with our negative emotions and feelings. This is called compulsive eating, in other words, episodes of excessive food intake due to emotions. In such a situation, self-control becomes imperative.
Why does stress make you snack?
The links between stress and food are extremely strong and anxiety has a direct effect on our appetite. So how can these links between stress and snacking be explained? For many specialists, it’s simply because “the appetite is in the head”. The reactions that we can have in the face of stress are multiple. For many people, the psychological response to this ailment is to throw themselves into snacking. And it will not be a question of leaning on any food. Indeed, it is especially towards the consumption of fatty or sugary foods, where your state of stress leads you psychologically. This is justified by the fact that it is the high calorie content of these foods that will keep you calm.
Moreover, we define emotional snacking or stress-related eating as eating to escape the negative feelings you are experiencing in order to relieve yourself, to feel better. Most often it is an unthoughtful response to a vague or negative emotion, but nothing prevents this act from being sometimes thoughtful or conscious. It is not, of course, a real hunger. The only reason you snack is the hope that eating will cure what makes you anxious. Emotional snacking can be detected through certain signs. In fact, in addition to being sudden, it generally begins with a feeling of stress or tension which gives way immediately afterwards to a desire to snack on crisps, chocolate, etc. Stress snacking may improve your mood temporarily, but it won’t relieve you of stress permanently.
Be in control of your emotions and be aware of your actions
Avoid at all costs trying to correct the negative feelings you are feeling. They are certainly unpleasant but they do not represent any danger for you. Everyone has the right to get angry, bored or depressed at times. It is therefore very important to accept your emotions because when you snack, food allows you to repress your stress. It’s kind of an escape. So learn how to channel the trigger for your compulsive eating by recognizing it. When stress gets to you, try asking yourself the question, what’s the worst thing that could happen to you if you don’t eat? So tolerate your emotions or find other ways to deal with your stress. And to learn how to manage stress, nothing more pragmatic than mindful meditation. Indeed, it allows you to focus on your body and your emotions and to better manage your desires. By focusing your body and mind on the present moment, you will find it easier to listen to and understand your feelings without judging them. You can also reduce the food reflex that pushes you to eat anything and at any time of the day. The principle is simple: take a few deep breaths, focus on a positive image and breathe out stress and worries.
The majority of people suffering from emotional snacking face a stressful situation aggravated by a lack of self-confidence. Find yourself important and never let your self-esteem go down by thinking of yourself as insignificant. Do not attach too much importance to negative criticism or remarks from those around you. This will only accentuate your lack of confidence and stress you out more. Learning to regain self-confidence is the best way to overcome stress and fight snacking.
Get out of your routine and find an alternative to snacking
Rather than relieving your stress with food, why not find things to do instead when the emotion gets to you. Change your habits and leave aside your routine. It will therefore be necessary to get it out of your head that the best solution to deal with these negative waves is through food. Create a new routine that includes indulging in something you enjoy or enjoy. Everything except the food. Also learn how to extend the deadline. Indeed, people concerned with eating due to stress often fear that the situation will worsen if the urge to eat is not immediately satisfied. So don’t let your cravings dominate you and give yourself time to work on this bad habit. We can also give you some tips for tackling stress-related cravings in this article. So don’t hesitate to read it too.
Sport nothing better to deal with snacking due to stress
The positive effects of sport against stress are known to all. Practicing sport can help to overcome stress but also to control one’s emotions. When you are more zen, more rested and relaxed, you are more likely to face the ups and downs of your life with serenity. So get in shape and reduce your stress by playing sports. Even better, playing sports can also help you eat less. Indeed, studies have concluded that the sport practiced after mental work can better regulate the rate of ghrelin which is a digestive hormone associated with hunger in the body.