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  • Writer's picturejenniferwhirlow

It's OK to Stress Eat

In these troubling and turbulent times, it natural for you to crave comfort foods. That's ok.

Now you're probably looking at that statement thinking, what is wrong with her? She's a health coach how could she say that? Has she done lost her mind?

Allow me to clarify, this is not giving you permission to eat a gallon ice cream followed with a family size bag of chips washed down with a 2 liter of pop (or soda). What I am giving you permission to do is enjoy what makes you feel good in reasonable portions. Can you have fettucine alfredo for dinner and still have a couple scoops of ice cream for dessert? YES! if that is what gives you comfort please do. Just please do it sensibly.

The reason most people stress eat are as follows:

Boredom - This is fairly prevalent right now with people being quarantined and being used to be able to go out and do things. You don't know what to do so you eat.

Habits - Were you rewarded with ice cream for a good report card? Were you given cookies when you were upset? Do you have a emotional response when you think about something your Mom or Grandmother made/makes? That's how these associations were developed, out of nostaglia or just wanting to remember a time when all was good and safe.

Fatigue - Whether it's mental, physical or both this definitely alters your ability to make healthier choices because you are too fatigued to think logically about your choices. Alot of our first responders, emergency room workers, and shift workers are affected by this.

The best ways to avoid the above triggers for emotional eating are as follows:

Keep yourself engaged or entertained - Do all those little projects around the house, Make a workout routine that utilizes what is available in your home, learn a new skill (there are alot of free resources available online right now), Call or video chat with a friend or family member, Go for a walk through your neighborhood, you get the idea now go do it.

Have healthy choices available - Make sure you have fresh fruit and vegetables ready to snack on, Research a country you have an interest in and try to make a dish from there, Try some vegetarian or even vegan dishes (plant based dishes will also help boost your immune system)

Be sure to have multiple ways to cope with stress - Meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep slow breathing, playing a musical instrument, art. All of the above will help you to destress and distract you from eating your way through your home.

Make sure you are getting enough quality sleep - Being more active and eating a healthy diet will help you to get better quality sleep. Your body does the majority of its healing when you sleep. This is why you are sleep deprived you are more susceptible to infection, injuries do not heal as quickly.

If you follow these tips they will help you recover from stress more quickly and prevent any of the stress induced illnesses during this unpredictable time.

Want to learn more? Contact me directly and set up a private or group session online.

Not sure you need one on one help? Sign up for the newletter to be notified about upcoming classes and articles like this one.

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