by Matt Weik
There are many things that go through people's heads. You have the stress of people worrying about money. You have children walking around your house all day. You are stressed about work. All of this stress and mental exhaustion can lead to emotional eating. And we all know what emotional eating leads to … excessive weight gain.
Emotional eating is a real thing
Some people think emotional food is fake and it's just the way to make an excuse for poor diet choices. However, emotional eating is a real thing and can affect everyone. In fact, it is currently growing day by day in America.
On days or nights when you're overly stressed, you can look up and down in your pantry for something salty, sweet, greasy, or generally unhealthy. And while the first step in correcting the situation is to better manage your stress level and emotions, this is generally easier said than done.
And the fact that people have stocked up on food means that you have more food to nibble and nibble on. Most people don't measure their food all day, they grab a handful of fries or pretzels and then chase their kids around the house. One or two drinks a night turns into a six-pack or several bourbon sprinkles. Before people know, the number creeps up on the scale.
People fill up with food at home
I looked at some Nielsen data for the United States and it was YOY until March 21, 2020. Food consumption has increased dramatically in different categories. For example, beans have increased by 237%, rice by 234%, pasta by 228%, soup by 237%, baker's yeast by 647%, canned meat by 282%, fresh meat alternatives by 454%, fresh meat has increased by 100%, processed meat is increased by 127%, milk / dairy products increased by 86%, butter increased by 127%, oat milk increased by 513% and surprisingly ice cream only increased by 50% (I expected that much higher). Sure, some of these increases are due to panic buying and hoarding, but still these are some dramatic increases.
More and more people are shopping for essentials and entering and leaving the grocery store as if the place were on fire. They don't want to touch anything, they don't want to rummage in the aisles, they just want to get what they need and come home. This has hurt many newer brands as the number of trials has declined as people don't look around and take the time to look at labels. People buy products and brands they are familiar with and get out.
A survey was conducted by Brick Meets Click / ShopperKit online grocery shopping survey, which found that 31% of US households used either a pickup service or an online grocery delivery service during this coronavirus fear. Many people do not want to go to the grocery store for fear of the virus. And of this number, 26% said that this is the first time that they have used such food services. 43% of respondents said they would continue to use these services after this whole coronavirus issue. And let's face it, they're practical, and that's how things seem to be these days.
How can you prevent emotional eating?
Emotional eating is not like the normal hunger you feel during the day. Emotional food hits you like a ton of stones and even when you get full, you are still not entirely satisfied, which leads to you continuing to eat. The key to preventing emotional eating is to find the source and focus on something productive to prevent you from reaching for food in response. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your mind and body active and prevent emotional eating.
You are bored
If you are bored and have nothing to do, look at what to do in your house. Cleaning, repairing, do-it-yourself projects, you can easily find something that keeps you busy and keeps you from eating and your emotions. You can even grab a good book you really wanted to read (hopefully something to improve yourself or improve your skills).
You are stressed
At a time like this, it's common to be stressed. The key is to turn that stress into something useful – like exercise. Stress and anger usually go hand in hand. If you need an outlet, training is the perfect option. Whether you have fitness equipment at home or opt for body weight training, just take 30 minutes to turn on your pump. You can even go for a walk outside when the weather is nice.
You are depressed
Depression can be slippery, and if you feel bad it may be a good idea to call someone and get help. Aside from that, if you just feel a little bit in the dumps, you want to find something that you enjoy doing. Watch a good movie like a comedy or play your favorite music to improve your mood and distract yourself from what's bothering you.
You are mentally exhausted
Find time to relax and unwind. This can be a nice relaxing Epsom salt bath or even sit in a dark and quiet room to meditate and clear your head. Or, even better, if you haven't slept well with everything that has happened, go to bed early and try to catch up on some sleep. If you have at least seven hours a night, this is ideal and can definitely help improve your mental performance during the day.