What is stress eating?
Stress can often lead to unhealthy eating habits and “self-medicating” with comfort foods. Stressful eating can be a major contributor to weight gain and ultimately, the development of obesity. Additionally, it’s not just what a person eats, but also how a person eats. Eating under stressful time constraints or while multitasking can result in “mindless” eating in which the essential communication between the mind and the body is hindered.
From the repeated activation of the stress response or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, stress itself can directly contribute to obesity through the hyper-secretion of cortisol (also known as the “stress hormone”), which can result in increased abdominal fat. Stress can also indirectly result in obesity by triggering cravings for high fat and sweet foods.
What does stress eating look like?
Common signs of emotional eating are:
- Changing your eating habits when you have more stress in your life.
- Eating when you are not hungry or when you are full.
- Eating to avoid dealing with a stressful situation.
- Eating to soothe your feelings.
- Using food as a reward.
How does CBD effect stress eating?
Taking the proper dosage of a premium CBD product can help you feel less stressed, making it easier to reduce stress eating.
Here’s how it works: Our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) helps bring balance to our physiological systems, and CBD interacts with receptors in the ECS. The interaction activates receptors in our brain and central nervous system, bringing our bodies back into balance. When our ECS is balanced, our bodies function optimally, enabling us to deal with the stressors of everyday life. When we’re able to deal with stressors of everyday life, it’s easier to reduce stress eating.
Self Care and Stress Eating
- Sleep: Sleep deprivation is a common chronic stressor. Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night. When you don’t get the sleep you need, your body craves sugary foods that will give you a quick energy boost. Getting plenty of rest will help with appetite control and reduce food cravings.
- Exercise/Movement: Go for a walk, get some fresh air, practice yoga, etc. Physical activity does wonders for your mood and energy levels, and is a powerful stress reducer.
- Journal: Keeping a food diary or journal can help to identify situations when you are more likely to eat because of emotions instead of physical hunger and gain insights into your eating habits.
- Practice Relaxation Responses: Meditation, Deep Breathing, or Biofeedback. Give yourself permission to take at least 30 minutes every day to relax, decompress, and unwind. This is your time to take a break from your responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
- Eat Mindfully: develop a healthy and enjoyable relationship with food by experiencing the pleasure of food and being fully present during meals. Slow down, chew your food, and understand the difference between emotional and physical hunger. Choose foods high in nutrients and antioxidants.
- Seek Professional Help: if you consistently struggle with emotional or stress eating, it may be worth speaking with a professional, who can help you sort out underlying issues.
- Phone a Friend/Connect with others: Don’t underestimate the importance of close relationships and social activities. Spending time with positive people who enhance your life will help protect you from the negative effects of stress.
Which CBD product works best to reduce stress and stress eating?
There are literally thousands of great CBD products for stress, and the “best” product is highly personal. Some people prefer taking CBD oils under the tongue, some prefer pre-dosed options like soft gels and gummies, where others prefer topicals. To find the right product for you, get a free recommendation here.
About the Author