As the COVID-19 pandemic and winter season continue, you may be fighting the urge to eat your feelings. Although stress eating may be soothing at first, you likely won’t feel better in the end. Consuming excess calories in one sitting can cause fatigue, bloating, stomach discomfort and weight gain over time. Consider the following ways to cope with stress eating:
Indulge in moderation. Everything is OK in moderation, just don’t overdo it. Set yourself a limit before taking that first bite.
Control portion sizes. On a similar note, make snacks easy to grab and go by pre-portioning them to help you save time and avoid overeating.
Boost nutritional value. Introduce healthy swaps or additions to your favorite indulgences. For example, consider substituting pasta with zucchini noodles or adding healthy toppings to ice cream that you can fill up on instead.
Choose “busy snacks.” Opt for healthy snacks that keep your hands busy, such as eating popcorn or dipping apple slices into peanut butter.
It could also be helpful to incorporate exercise or mindful activities into your routine for when you want to stress eat. It’s all about finding a strategy that works to help you feel better in the long run.