Everyone knows we should eat only when hungry. Not when stressed, anxious, tired, lonely, angry, you name it….
But when you get caught up in the stress of the day, pressure starts building inside you so much so, that you feel you could explode.
Then, stress eating becomes the perfect solution.
It gives you an instant release and jolt of feel-good chemicals so you essentially munch your stress away.
It’s a self-comforting mechanism which reassures you that regardless of what you are going through, all is fine.
But, once you become aware of using food as a stress release strategy and you aren’t happy about it, you are on the right path to changing that.
And, here are 3 strategies to get you started.
Feed the good bugs to feel good
Did you know that the bacteria living in your colon dictate what you eat and crave? If you have the good bugs, you crave fruits and vegetables. If you have the bad kind which feeds of red meat, dairy, eggs, processed foods and refined sugar, that’s what you’ll crave. (study)
In addition to that, about 90% of serotonin, the feel-good chemical, is produced by good bugs in your gut. (study) Your gut is constantly talking to your brain and influences how you feel.
By taking care of your gut, feeding the good bacteria with fibre from a variety of unprocessed grains, beans, potatoes, fruits & veg you are building stress resilience from the inside out.
Once you have enough serotonin and feel good biochemically, whatever stressed you yesterday won’t make you feel as panicky today.
And, if you start looking for something to munch on, your good bugs will make it easier for you, so instead of a croissant you’ll prefer a carrot or an apple.
Action: Take action now and rid your house of the snacks which don’t serve you. Instead, replace them with fruits and vegetables so the good guys living in your pipes can have a feast every time you feel like eating for comfort.
Go back to nature
In times of stress, we tend to forget where we came from. We get so driven by the fight or flight response of our body that even the idea of stepping outside for a walk sounds alien to us.
But, those are exactly the moments when we need it the most! It can be the emails that are piling up, staying with the whole family under one roof or even the fear from picking up COVID that creates permanent stress bubbling up inside. And that stress needs to be released.
Creating good chemicals to neutralise and let go off stress comes naturally when you engage with nature.
Walks in the park, on the beach, running bare foot (when the weather is right ???? ), hugging trees, doing gardening. All that helps you re-balance energy and melt the stress away.
Nature is powerful, and I find that every time anything unfortunate, unexpected or even just annoying happens in my life, parks, trees and nature give me the strength to bounce back.
Action: Why don’t you schedule, every day, at least 20 minutes of engaging with nature. You can find lovely ideas, up-to-date events and inspiration about parks and gardening at PlantYard.
Binge sleeping instead of stress eating
In one Czech fairy tale we say “sleep is sweeter than honey“. Hard to say whether it’s true but what we are trying to say is that everything is better when you get a good night’s sleep.
And I mean EVERYTHING.
With a good sleep you detoxify better, your immunity is stronger, blood sugar levelled, you make better food choices and your perception of things which happen to you during the day is more optimistic too!
This means that if you get a minimum 7 hours of good quality sleep your anxiety goes down naturally and with that your stress levels.
But sleeping well can be a challenge.
Everything around us is designed to rob us of precious hours our body needs to distress and rejuvenate. Artificial lights, coffee, alcohol, that tv-series, the list goes on and on.
Action: Regardless of this, I encourage you to make the night hours a non-negotiable time to invest in how well you want to feel tomorrow. And how strong and resilient you want to be to stress and stress-eating.
Stress can literally burn you from the inside out. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to how you feel and what you do. Then you can manage it.
Having a plan which uses at least one of these strategies is just the beginning. It will however make you feel better, even if it’s only one step at a time.
I hope it helps. And as always I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
Please let me know in the comments below:
Which one of these strategies are you going to implement and how exactly?
Thank you so much for sharing.
Cheers to you and a delicious way of living 🙂