Stress and eating

We live in a stressful environment, and we often eat as a way of dealing with stress or as a way to calm ourselves. The following are some questions to consider if you eat to deal with stress.

  • Have you noticed a change in your eating or weight since a change occurred in your stress level/lifestyle?
  • Do you eat when you are not hungry or when you are full?
  • Do you eat (or cook) to avoid dealing with a stressful situation?
  • Do you find food very soothing?
  • Do you use food as a reward? (For example, "That was really a tough job/assignment/argument. I need some ice cream/candy/popcorn!")

If you find that you eat because of stress, try the following:

  • Take a short relaxation break.
  • Take time to stop and think about what is really bothering you and how you could deal with it.
  • Change what you're doing. Take a short walk down the hall or around the block.
  • Call a friend.
  • If you are truly hungry, reach for a healthy meal or snack. Focus on the experience of eating and enjoy your food.

Last Updated: January 14, 2010

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