Home cooking, hydration and portion control are ways to stop yourself from stress eating – Moneycontrol

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Physical activity serves as a potent stress reliever. Integrate daily exercise into your routine to elevate mood, reduce stress, and diminish the urge to stress eat. (Image: Canva)

Physical activity serves as a potent stress reliever. Integrate daily exercise into your routine to elevate mood, reduce stress, and diminish the urge to stress eat. (Image: Canva)

During moments of stress, it’s common for individuals to seek comfort in food, finding temporary relief in the familiar tastes and textures it offers. However, when this coping mechanism transforms into a habitual response, it can obstruct our wellness journey, leaving us feeling frustrated and guilty. Recognising the triggers and patterns associated with stress eating is the initial step toward reclaiming authority over our eating behaviours.

Let’s talk about practical strategies that can help mitigate stress eating and cultivate a more balanced relationship with food

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Self-reflection: Empower yourself by understanding the root causes behind your urge to eat, says Noida based psychiatrists Ananya Ganjoo. Take a moment to pause and assess your emotions before reaching for food, distinguishing between genuine hunger and emotional cues such as stress, boredom, or loneliness.

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Temptation management: Minimise mindless snacking and impulsive overeating by keeping tempting foods out of sight. Store indulgent treats in less accessible places to diminish visual triggers that may prompt cravings, says Ganjoo.

Establish a consistent meal schedule: Consistency is paramount. Stick to regular mealtimes to uphold a sense of structure and stability in your eating routine. Whether it’s three-square meals or smaller, more frequent snacks, find a meal pattern that suits you and adhere to it.

Avoid restrictive diets: Steer clear of overly restrictive diets that foster feelings of deprivation and increase susceptibility to binge eating. Instead, prioritise a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods to nourish your body adequately.

Embrace home cooking: Ganjoo suggests to view home cooking as an opportunity to nurture your body with wholesome, homemade meals. Experiment with new recipes and ingredients to diversify your meals and enhance satisfaction.

Hydration: Stay hydrated to curb cravings triggered by dehydration. Infuse your water with fresh fruits or herbs for added flavour without excess calories.

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Incorporate physical activity: Physical activity serves as a potent stress reliever. Integrate daily exercise into your routine to elevate mood, reduce stress, and diminish the urge to stress eat.

Combat boredom: Combat mindless munching by engaging in activities that stimulate your mind and body. Pursue hobbies, tackle home projects, or acquire new skills to ward off boredom-induced eating.

Practice mindful eating: Cultivate mindfulness during meals to enhance awareness of hunger and fullness cues. Minimise distractions and savour each bite, focusing on the sensory experience of eating.

Portion control: Adopt mindful portioning to prevent overeating. Serve yourself single portions of food rather than eating directly from larger containers to avoid excessive consumption.

Opt for nutrient-dense foods: Prioritise nutrient-dense foods that promote satiety and sustained energy levels. Incorporate protein, fibre, and healthy fats into your meals to foster feelings of fullness and prevent overeating.

Monitor alcohol intake: Exercise moderation when consuming alcohol and be mindful of its impact on appetite and inhibitions. Limit alcohol consumption to mitigate excessive snacking and maintain overall health.

Prioritise overall well-being: During times of stress, prioritise self-care and compassion. Focus on nurturing your mental and emotional health, recognising that holistic well-being encompasses more than just physical nutrition.

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