How to Avoid Stress Eating & Drinking During Times of Crisis

stress eating
Working from home has its perks, but potential weight gain and alcohol over consumption should not be one of them. As more employees work remotely because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, a combination of job stress, financial concerns, the uncertainty surrounding public health and having easy access to the refrigerator and liquor closet could prompt some workers to over-indulge more than they would otherwise. 

It’s called “stress eating and drinking” for a reason. A number of studies show that emotional or physical distress increases the amount of food we eat, particularly meals higher in fat, sugar or both. Anytime you’re feeling particularly stressed out — whether it’s at work or at home — and you’re feeling aimless, human nature leads us to what’s comfortable. Furthermore, not having to commute to work and the ability to wake up later can also throw off your mealtimes and otherwise established healthy habits. 

WHY? Sometimes people eat and drink in excess after they’ve gone through a major stressful event, like a divorce or losing a job or living through a pandemic. 

GOOD NEWS! Emphasis on daily healthy habits and focus on being active (step counts), will help keep the weight and drinking regrets away.

stop doing

STOP DOING:

Skipping meals: It disrupts your daily routine and may cause overeating at your next meal. 

Eating out of boredom. 

Keeping junk food in the house/plain sight. Easy access to junk food will test will-power and humans have limited will-power capacity (seeing a bag of potato chips or a cookie in your line of vision makes it that much more tempting to get up and snack). 

Drinking any alcohol during work hours. You wouldn’t do it in the office so don’t do it working from home. 

Sacrificing sleep. Don’t let daily duties and late-night activities get in the way of your sleep schedule . 

Drinking when you feel stressed. Replace that drink with a healthy habit; go for a walk, do a home workout.  

Focusing on negativity. Being tempted to partake in negative behaviors you might see on social media in response to crisis; use social media to connect positively with your friends/colleagues.

start doing

START DOING:

Keep a food diary.

Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day.

Portion out food. Don’t just grab a big bag of chips and head to the couch to watch TV. Measure out one serving into a small bag or onto a plate. You’ll be less likely to eat too much if you have to get up for more.

Think about why you’re overeating. Adhere to a regular eating schedule.

Stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Feeling thirsty indicates that you’re already dehydrated. Carry a reusable bottle throughout the day.

Stock up on fruits and veggies for healthy snacks. A healthy daily consumption of fruits and vegetables can prevent cravings and keep you satisfied throughout the day.

Prep meals ahead of time to make available later when the impulse to eat something unhealthy from the shelf sets in.

Source: Virgin Pulse

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