When you feel depressed, of course, you want to feel good immediately. When you are extremely stressed, you quickly want to feel relaxed and to be able to diffuse yourself from that tension. Many people resort to emotional eating to get over stress and anxiety, which lead to more problems since stress eating leads to obesity. And when you become overweight or obese, you might feel more depressed when you walk in front of a mirror and see yourself. You might lose your self-confidence, and, then, you again indulge in a bag of Doritos.
According to research, stress activates the body’s cortisol, which eventually increases a person’s appetite. Stress works with a domino effect, where it can impede the proper secretion of ghrelin, a hormone that regulates your appetite. Aside from appetite, it also regulates your sleep-wake cycle. When you don’t have enough sleep, you end up feeling like you need to eat more to compensate.
A bigger waist, fewer calories to burn, and a lower insulin response are just some of the things that happen to you when you are stressed out. This disorder can be complicated to detect by yourself since you feel like you are just hungry, that is why you are always eating. However, the less you tolerate the feeling of “fullness,” the more you are likely to feel the effects of overeating.
Have you ever remembered the last time you were stressed out? The question remains as to why, when people are stressed, they always reach out for their comfort foods. Pleasure and happiness seem like a few steps away from you becoming unaware of the overwhelming shadow of danger that comes with stress eating. In general, people live in the present moment, and the only thing that matters is now. Why worry about diabetes when you can enjoy your favorite foods for now without problems?
Aside from overeating, stress also weakens your cognitive function. You may find yourself simply losing motivation in dealing with your project or task at hand, and instead, you choose to munch out your stress on chips or ice cream. You may feel overwhelmed, but with a bag of chips, a pint of ice cream, and a 1.5 bottle of soda, you feel like all your problems have drifted away in an instant.
The lure of junk food
When you are stressed or depressed, you do not become an all-out vegetarian, eating carrots, munching on broccoli, or enjoying a bowl of vegetable salad. In reality, you become a junk food warrior with chips, fries, soda, and chocolate chip cookies by your side. These foods give you an instant boost in dopamine, making you feel good in no time. It is okay to be doing this every once in a while, but when you do it often, that’s when the problem starts.
And what do you feel after your stress-induced eating? You feel worse than before, right?
There are many ways to battle against emotional eating, and the first step is for you to recognize the root of the problem. What is causing your stress? Is it your weight, family, friends, partner, job, or incurring debt? There are many reasons as to why people get stressed, so assess the situation and look for possible solutions. You do not need any other person’s validation for this one, because you, yourself, would know the answer to that question.
To further help you cope up with stress, here are some more tips to help you out:
There is nothing better for your body and mind than for you to invest in eating healthy. If vegetable and fruits were rarely a part of your diet, start doing the change now. You can make it fun, so you don’t get tired of the tastes. You can make a cheesy broccoli pie or a fruit salad to spice things up. If you haven’t grown up to eating fruits and vegetables, then it may take a bit more time for you to get used to it. But the more you expose yourself, the more that you will like this food group.
It has been proven time and again that exercising can do wonders for your health. And if you exercise outdoors, the more that you can enjoy the benefits of this endorphin-releasing activity. You don’t have to go all out and spend three hours exercising. In fact, you only need at least 30 minutes a day to feel good. Your exercise can be as simple as cleaning your house and garden or walking your dog around the block. Just make sure that you get that body going every day, and give time for exercise always.
Get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals
While healthy food and regular exercise can help you make better eating choices, getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals can further ramp up your recovery. Recommended supplements include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Magnesium. These personalized vitamins and minerals help in making sure that you get the balance that you need for your hormones and body system. And when you are in sync holistically, then you can cope up better with stress.
These are some of the long-term ways that you can use to say goodbye to emotional eating finally. It may not be easy at first, but, for sure, all your effort will be worth it. You will never turn your back on this new lifestyle!