You can forget about you when you are stressed, which makes you feel even worse. By taking care of yourself, you can feel better and focus on how to move forward.
Try to aim for a balanced diet containing a range of food. While it can be tempting to cope with stress by eating junk food, or by barely eating at all, these are temporary fixes. They may gives you a sense of control when feeling overwhelmed, but both extremes make things worse for the future you.
Eating junk food over an extended time cause health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, and tooth decay just to name a few. This is because it doesn't contain the good nutrients that your body needs.
On the other hand restricting your eating means you won't have enough energy to be the best you can. Moreover, people who restrict their eating very often end up having binges where they overeat and eat junk food.
9 tips for coping with stressful eating
- Have a regular eating pattern: 3 meals a day and snacks.
- Always eat breakfast. This will help your memory and focus.
- Plan your meals and portions before you start to eat. You don’t have to finish your plate if there is too much on it!
- If you know that you eat junk food when stressed, try to avoid it. Prepare things you can grab from the fridge that are healthier e.g. a fruit salad, a snack of nuts.
- Have food that you can eat easily e.g. milkshakes, cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts. Try eating them while reading or watching TV.
- Drink enough water to keep hydrated.
- Remember to go for 2 fruits and 5 vegetables per day. This will help you get the nutrients and fibre you need.
- Be mindful of salt in your food, try to use herbs, spices, garlic and lemon juice instead.
- Avoid too much tea, coffee, and soft drinks. These are high in caffeine and will increase some of the physical responses associated with stress e.g. increased heartbeat and make you feel more tense and anxious.