A big side-effect of stress can be food cravings and mood eating. It is not uncommon to turn to comfort food when feeling stressed. Sweets, junk food and fast food are all common comfort foods that many of us turn to in times of stress.
Stress-induced food cravings can lead to over indulgences and eating junk food outside normal mealtimes. This can throw the body's internal food clock off balance. In turn, that can lead to biological changes in metabolism and ultimately weight gain.
There are some simple strategies to help overcome these stress-induced cravings.
The next time you think you are hungry, stop and take a slow deep breath and mentally listen to your body. Decide if your stomach is really growling. If it's not and if you aware that you are stressed, get up and take a walk around the house or the workplace. Grab a tall glass of water and drink that first or chew a piece of gum before deciding if your body really needs food.
After trying these techniques, if you still feel the need to eat, choose something healthy. Try keeping fresh fruits, dried fruits and healthy snacks on hand.
Often these stress-induced and mood cravings can be bypassed by being aware of the signs, taking a deep breath, relaxing, taking a walk and getting yourself away from the unhealthy junk food.