The world has become a very complicated place. Most adults in the world have some level of stress, and many are overweight. Unfortunately, stress alone can make it hard to lose weight, and can even cause you to gain weight – to a degree. The real problem, however, comes from stress snacking.
What Is Stress Snacking
Have you ever been in an argument with your spouse or significant other and both found that while arguing and stomping around the house that you somehow both end up with chips or snack cakes in your hand – munching away? Have you ever found yourself at your desk working towards meeting a deadline to discover that you have tons of candy wrappers and chip bags on and around your desk? These situations are stress snacking.
Often, when you stress snack, you don’t even realize you are consuming any food. Your mind isn’t on what you are eating – your mind is on the matter that is stressing you. Stress can cause you to mindlessly snack, without any regard to the calories you are consuming, or even whether or not you are really hungry. Stress snacking can occur simply because you connect comfort with food, or to give your hands something to do – or even because of chemical releases in the brain due to the stress.
How to Avoid Stress Snacking
The first step to avoid stress snacking is to become aware of it. As with any other problem, you first have to realize the problem exists, and decide that you really want to change it. The next step is to limit the availability of food. You must pay close attention to the foods that you seem to reach for when you are stressed. Some people will invariably reach for sweets, while others will always reach for something salty. Remove the food that you are likely to reach for, in such a way that you must make a conscience decision and effort to acquire the food.
Healthy Stress Snacking
Once you’ve removed those unhealthy stress snack choices, if you find that you cannot get through your stress well without snacking, replace those foods with healthy snack foods. Make sure that you consider the type of food that soothes you the best – salty, tangy, hot, sweet, etc. Shop carefully and choose foods that have those same qualities, but make sure that the new foods are healthier. This way, if you cannot completely beat your stress snacking, at least you are not sabotaging your diet or your health by grabbing those unhealthy snacks during times of stress.
March 25th, 2010
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