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Eating during chronic stress: What to do if your routine is disrupted

Eating during chronic stress: What to do if your routine is disrupted How to eat properly during times of stress (photo:

During chronic stress and emotional turmoil, people often either stop eating normally or disrupt their eating schedules. Additionally, some individuals may overeat during periods of anxiety, often consuming unhealthy foods to comfort themselves.

How stress affects eating and what to do if you encounter eating-related issues, according to dietitian Tetiana Lakusty.

According to the expert, people in any condition need to eat regularly. Not just once or twice a day and whatever comes to hand, but properly. And this can become a challenging task, marked by insomnia, anxiety, exhaustion, chronic worry about everything - not conducive to eating.

1. Appetite can change due to insomnia, stress, exhaustion, or depression. It can either be completely absent or very strong.

What to do? Eat. You wake up, not expecting your appetite to show up. Yes, you should eat because you have to. Even if it doesn't taste good. But those who skip regular meals then switch to "bee mode" and live on coffee with sugar (there's always an appetite for that). Or they overeat in the evening to the point of a "food coma," making it impossible to breathe.

2. In a state of chronic anxiety, one may crave food for the joy of its flavors.

What to do? Eat. It might sound like indulgence or the advice of a reformed dietitian, but if we don't eat, we will end up overeating in compensation (what you call "binges"). So, start by eating regular meals, and save dessert for dessert, not as a replacement for the main meal.

3. In a state of exhaustion and extreme fatigue, it can be challenging to muster the willpower to feed yourself properly (making the effort to nourish yourself like a human can be a struggle).

What to do? Eat. Notice when chaos begins and make a conscious choice to do the opposite. Without expecting it to be easy or simple. Otherwise, you'll easily fall into the habit of eating sandwiches, convenience foods, fruits, yogurts, and snacks. The problem is that metabolic disorders don't hurt, and we tend to neglect them.

4. The desire to eat when experiencing emotions

What to do? Eat, but in a special way. Start by nourishing yourself regularly with standard meals until you're full, and then add some treats for dessert. Create a list of resourceful actions - simple, easily accessible things that help you feel even a little better: spend some quiet time, do embroidery (activities that require fine motor skills can reduce anxiety), wash dishes, take a walk, watch YouTube, hug someone - and consciously choose something different afterward. Instead of turning to food, give yourself a different source of support.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.