Stress Eating and Food Comfort

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It is a good idea to support yourself with good nutrition as much as you can on a daily basis, but if you are feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed by life, then it is even more important.  At times of stress, there is often the urge to practise “stress eating and food comfort”: to turn to food and drink as a sort of “self medication” or “comfort” and certainly for most of us, if that comfort food also includes sugar or fat it can feel very much like a treat or “goody” for the first few minutes that it enters our mouths. Also for many of us that “instant gratification” feeling can very quickly turn to feelings of guilt, irritation and negative self talk. It is not surprising that a lot of the clients that I see for weight loss are often putting on weight  and over eating due to the amount of anxiety or stress they are dealing with on a day to day basis in their lives.

Although this desire to indulge in sugary or fatty, salty snacks, when feeling stressed, is understandable, it does actually create a huge problem for the body. It causes a lot of toxic waste in the body, which ironically makes us feel even more “down” and low in energy. This in turn leads to us reaching for more “treats” – just one more chocolate or another packet of crisps.

If we do this just very occasionally the effects on the body won’t be too bad, but if this is becoming a regular part of your diet and life, then this is an issue. You will not be getting what the body needs to produce feelings of health and well-being.
In times of stress, it can be difficult to try and focus on healthy eating, because we are “too busy” “too tired” or “too pre-occupied” with our stresses to plan meals, shop healthily or cook dinners from scratch. However, just remembering a few basics like

  • ensuring you have fruit to hand (maybe treat yourself with a nice luxurious tub of ready prepared fruit even!),
  • making sure you drink plenty of water (keep a bottle with you in your bag) and
  • ensuring you eat regularly throughout the day

will help you and your body to function better.

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