Technological advancement and competition mean that our work environments are becoming more stressful. Pressures of deadlines, appraisal and promotion can take a toll on your health. Besides the negative effect of stress on your body, there is another less obvious way stress can be affecting your health. It has been proven by science that stress releases the hormone cortisol in the body which increases appetite. This can promote unhealthy snacking which increases your waistline.
Here are some ways you can control stress eating:
1 . Deal with the real issue
The key is to deal with the real source of stress which might be boredom, exhaustion, anxiousness or depression. If you are able to identify and eliminate the trigger of stress then the problem is gone. Try out new hobbies for eliminating boredom, taking a break, sleeping and essential oils for exhaustion and a brisk walk or a stress buster ball for anxiousness.
2 . Switch to healthy snacks
In case you are not able to curb the pangs of hunger at work, try to change your unhealthy chips and processed food options with wholesome, healthy foods like nuts and fruits. Keep nuts like walnuts, pistachios handy along with fruits like oranges, apples and grapes.
3 . Drink healthy teas
Drinking a cup of black tea during stress induced hunger pangs helps in two ways- first by lowering down the level of stress hormone cortisol and second by curbing your hunger. Being rich in antioxidants, it is a healthy drink that has multiple benefits for the body.
4 . Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating starts right from your shopping list when you make conscious decisions about the healthy food items that you want to include in your diet. They need to be prepared in a healthy manner and eaten slowly in small bites. This prevents you from eating processed food in a distracted manner.
5 . Do not eat at your desk
Eating at your desk while staring at your computer screen can also lead to overeating during times of stress. It is better to make a habit of never eating at your desk. Meeting some friends or colleagues during a break will help you relax and reduce the cortisol levels of your body.
6 . Practice self-compassion
A large part of the stress we experience is self-induced when we want to push our productivity levels to the limit. Once in a while, you should be your best friend and be kind to yourself.
7 . Control the frequency
It is okay to binge out and eat what tastes good once in a while. After all, even the best diets have cheat days. Be conscious of your deviations and control the frequency.
8 . Surround yourself with healthy eaters
Nowadays, a lot of people are into healthy eating and exercising. Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with such people who can inspire and monitor your eating habits. Try out these simple ways to stop yourself from increasing your waistline due to stress. An increased waistline has been linked to cardiovascular risk and diabetes. You can only work as long as you are fit and healthy.