Well, first know that you have no reason to feel bad about yourself. Emotional eating is a common response to stress, anxiety and other negative emotions. And it is even scientifically proven. In January 2001 a study was published entitled “Stress may stimulate appetite in women”. Other studies have found that similar patterns also exist in men.
3 tools that will help you overcome emotional eating
Eat Consciously – You know the feeling when you finished a meal and didn’t remember eating at all? You’re not alone. Many of us are focused on something else when we eat, especially when we are stressed, in which case eating becomes automatic. Conscious eating requires paying close attention to food. Studies have proven that mindfulness techniques (listening), for example, can reduce emotional eating by increasing awareness of the body’s natural hunger and satiety signals. What else can help?
- Avoid distractions: During the meal, avoid watching TV, using a mobile phone or working in front of a computer.
- Activate the The senses: Before eating, focus for a few moments on the sight and smell of the food.
- 20-20-20 rule: Chew for 20 seconds, place the amount on the plate for 20 seconds between bites and spend at least 20 minutes for the meal. According to studies, the point of satiety comes only after 20-30 minutes of eating.
Listen to music while eating: Studies have shown that exposure to natural sounds, such as flowing water and chirping birds, calms the nervous system and reduces stress and anxiety. in research Conducted in 2023, participants who were exposed to soothing sounds experienced a decrease in stress and cortisol levels (a hormone that is released during stress and has a negative effect on the body). In short – music will help you make better food choices because you will be more relaxed.
Eat in a green environment – Do you have a balcony or a garden? Go out to eat there. For those who don’t have it – this is exactly the time to add some green to the house. Research from 2022, entitled “Incorporating nature indoors for stress recovery and healthy eating”, examined the effect of elements in nature on stress recovery and eating behavior. The study involved 92 participants aged 18-30, who were divided into different groups that were exposed to different types of images, including those showing green plants, green objects, plants in shades of gray or objects in shades of gray. The findings indicated that pictures showing green plants contributed to recovery after stress, and also led to a higher preference for vegetables and, conversely, to a reduced desire for unhealthy snacks. The study emphasized that the presence of plants played a more significant role in achieving these positive results compared to the color green itself.
In conclusion, taking small but significant steps will help you regain control and choose healthier and more nutritious foods, even in times of crisis or war.
The writer is Einav Burstein, consultant and guide for natural nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. to Instagram of Einav