Is stress sabotaging your healthy diet and lifestyle goals? If so, you’re not alone. Occasional stress can temporarily elevate certain hormones in the body, particularly cortisol, which is known to increase appetite. Unfortunately, that increased appetite doesn’t settle for fruits and veggies. Instead, and all to often, stress causes us to reach for foods that “comfort” us. However, those foods tend to be ones that are highly processed, loaded with sugar, high in fat and set back our goals.
Adopting healthy habits to reduce and counteract stress can go a long way in keeping us on track with our plans for a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Try some of these tips to better manage stress eating:
- Exercise. The next time you find yourself mindlessly reaching into the pantry or fridge in search of an extra snack, catch yourself and try to make a habit of doing a quick 5 minute exercise or stretch instead. Squats? Pushups? Lunges? Crunches? Yoga? Get creative and give your body something it actually needs!
- Hydrate. Keeping well hydrated, by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, has countless health benefits and can also help us to avoid excess snacking. Often we may mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you find yourself craving something sweet, try drinking a glass of water first to see if the craving subsides.
- Meditate. Sitting quietly to clear our mind, even for a few minutes, can reduce stress and help us become more mindful of how we’re feeling. We can also learn to pay more attention to how we respond to stress and avoid emotional eating.
Share your tips to avoid stress eating!