Feelings of boredom and stress when you have to be at home in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic can cause someone to do stress eating or emotional eating. This is a normal reaction, when a person seeks comfort through consuming foods that are not necessarily nutritious.
However, if done continuously, stress eating or emotional eating can be bad for health. This is the cause of weight gain during the pandemic. Not only that, levels of anxiety and stress can also increase.
How to deal with stress eating during a pandemic
Do exercise to avoid stress
As the name suggests, emotional eating occurs because of emotions and stress due to being bored at home during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine. Before this bad habit actually has a negative impact on health, you can try these ways to deal with stress eating :
1. Understand the background
When you start to feel like you often do emotional eating, first understand what the trigger is. Whether it’s stress, boredom, boredom, and others. Of course, emotional eating is different from hunger that naturally arises when you need nutritional intake.To understand the background, give pause and focus on what is being felt. Validate the emotions that are being experienced, whether it’s stress, boredom, loneliness, or excessive anxiety. Evaluating what is being felt can prevent stress eating.
2. Do not provide unhealthy snacks
If emotional eating habits are unavoidable, do not give a gap to eat unhealthy snacks. Instead, multiply the stockhealthy snacks so that even when you feel hungry emotionally, you can still get nutrients.Moreover, visual exposure to high-calorie but unhealthy foods can activate the brain region of the striatum. When you are active, you reduce your impulsive control, which can lead to feelings of overeating or emotional eating.
3. Create a meal schedule
Even though you are at home and there is no definite routine, keep a definite eating schedule. Try itdietary habitthis is really regular despite being in a completely uncertain situation. If it can’t be the same as the schedule when there was no pandemic, no problem. The most important thing is to ensure a regular meal schedule.
4. Experiment yourself
Having more time at home means the opportunity to try out new recipes. Especially during a pandemic, eating at a café or restaurant is very risky. So, shift resources by cooking healthier meals yourself.According to one study, eating self-cooked food more than 5 times a week reduced a person’s risk of being overweight by 28%. The risk of being overweight also fell 24% compared with participants who only ate home-cooked meals 3 times a week.
5. Drink enough water
Make sure the water needs for the body are fulfilled. This can prevent a person from stress eating. There is research that has found a correlation betweensevere dehydrationand the risk of obesity. Not only that, dehydration also makes mood, energy, focus span, and messy eating patterns.If you get bored with plain water, add fresh fruit slices to make infused water. Without the need for added sweeteners, drinks like this are still nutritious and safe for calorie intake.
6. Stay active
Now there are so many virtual exercise classes to YouTube videos about light-intensity exercise at home. Without taking too long, taking this class or exercise video can ensure that your body remains active.This is important because physical activity will create the mood got better. When the mood improves, stress decreases, the risk of stress eating can be reduced.
7. Focus on the present
The fast flow of information around sometimes makes a person unable to focus or mindful of what he is doing at the moment. This is where mindful eating is important , which is eating without any distractions, especially gadgets.
By doing this, the focus is entirely on food. Not only that, the body can more optimally listen to signals of hunger and fullness. This can prevent a person from falling into a pattern of stress eating.Adjusting your diet in some of the ways above to avoid stress eating is one way to keep loving yourself. Especially in difficult and uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very important to prioritize health more than anything.All the ways to avoid stress eating above can be done slowly. It’s not a competition. So, there is no need to compare what other people have achieved during quarantine with what has been done.