Hey there everyone! I hope your day is going as sunny as it is outside my office window…
The other day, I was asked by a fellow blogger, Tiffany of The Gracious Pantry, to help her with an article she was working on for her clean eating blog. The topic was about stress eating. There were a list of questions on the topic that I am posting my responses to below. And today, she posted her article. It is very informative and gives great advice on the topic of emotional/stress eating, along with ways to combat it. Take a look here.
1. How would you personally define “stress eating” or “emotional eating”?
Stress or emotional eating, to me, is impulse eating. Impulse because one does not think before diving into the food of choice. This type of eating is almost done unconsciously, usually ending in remorse or more unhealthy food choices.
I have definitely eating emotionally or turned to food when I have been stressed. It’s an automatic response, stemming from that flight or fight reaction that our ancestors put to good use long, long ago. Now, it just hinders the mental, physical, and emotional ties with food; at least with me.
I do think that emotional, stress-related eating has an impact on a clean eating lifestyle, or at least can. When we are stressed or upset or sometimes even happy, we tend to reach for something that will bring us joy. Sugary or salty food choices are made without a second though and usually they are not the sugary or salty whole foods that are “clean.” And most of the time, these food choices lead to other unhealthy food choices or cravings. This, obviously, may throw off someone who is new to clean eating or has a tendency of veering towards a conventional, Standard American Diet.
Get exercise. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and curb cravings, not to mention just make you feel better. Even just 10 minutes a day helps. Yoga is also a great way to reduce stress and help you stay in tuned with your body and mind. Another idea is to write down every piece of food you put into your mouth. Sounds tedious, and yes, it is, but you will be much more aware of what you are eating and may even see patterns of why you are eating a certain food.
Yoga, yoga, yoga. Like above, exercise helps reduce stress. Yoga is a fantastic, non-impact way of cleansing your mind and body, and getting the joints, lungs, heart, and stress moving. Other ways to combat stress is to stop everything and just breathe. Take a break from the internet, the cell phones, a hectic work environment and take a few moments to breathe and disconnect.
Anyway, back to more food writing. Last night we had a feast. Made for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, the dinner was composed of: