Many of us are experiencing the home stuck blues during this difficult time, and for many, that’s manifesting in poor eating and health habits. For some, this could be overeating. Overeating is a state where you eat past fullness, too frequently, or both combined where you are consuming more food than your body needs. This can result in weight gain, as you are not expending all the energy consumed. Overeating often leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and loss of control. What’s important to remember is that overeating is usually a response to negative emotions such as stress, boredom, and loneliness1.
Tips for Managing Overeating
- Remove temptation: A relatively simple way to stem your overeating could be to remove the temptation. This might mean avoiding areas of your home where food is kept, occupying your mind with an activity or entertainment.
- Tempted to eat but not actually hungry? Try having some tea, water, or juice instead. Liquids can often satisfy the urge to have something to do the way eating can, and often help you to realize that you weren’t hungry after all.
- Take note of how you’re feeling: Are you stressed, bored, or lonely- and eating because of those emotions? If so, eating is being used as a way to cope. Find a way to release your negative emotions in a healthy way, that doesn’t lead to binge eating.
Poor health habits, aside from overeating, can look like eating poor quality foods. Poor quality foods are foods that do not provide your body with proper nutrition. Examples of these foods include frozen pizzas, potato chips, fried foods, and most sugary baked goods.
Tips for Managing Food Cravings
- Craving sugar? Try this: Fruits (frozen fruits if fresh are not available), sugar free chewing gum or mints, yogurt, sweet potatoes, flavored carbonated water (such as LaCroix), trail mix2. These items are generally sweet without the added sugar of, say, a muffin.
- Craving salt? Try this: Baked sweet potato fries, hummus and carrots, air popped popcorn, edamame, nuts, or an avocado with cottage cheese3.
Many things are beyond our control right now, but the way we eat doesn’t have to be one of them. In addition to the suggestions above, creating a personal meal plan can be incredibly useful. A personal meal plan takes into consideration what your body needs: food groups, vitamins, proteins, fiber, and water amounts. Most adults do not get enough fiber in their diets, if you are one of 9 in 10 Americans who don’t get enough fiber5, then Fiber Choice® Fruity Bites Gummies might be for you.
1Nicole Galan RN. Emotional eating: How to overcome stress eating. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320935. Published February 15, 2018. Accessed April 17, 2020.
2West H. 19 Foods That Can Fight Sugar Cravings. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-fight-sugar-cravings#section16. Published January 8, 2018. Accessed April 17, 2020.
3Kran S, University of Texas. 13 Healthy Swaps if You’re Craving Something Salty. Spoon University. https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/13-healthy-swaps-youre-craving-something-salty. Published April 27, 2016. Accessed April 17, 2020.
4MS JK. 13 Ways to Prevent Stress Eating When You’re Stuck at Home. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-prevent-stress-eating-when-youre-stuck-at-home. Published April 13, 2020. Accessed April 17, 2020.
5Quagliani D, Felt-Gunderson P. Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap: Communication Strategies From a Food and Fiber Summit. American journal of lifestyle medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124841/. Published July 7, 2016. Accessed April 20, 2020.