Dealing Emotional Eating Amid Lock Down

So there’s a pandemic raging outside and you’re locked in your residence with a larger stockpile of food than usual. You find yourself struggling with emotional or stress eating. What should you do?

As the world hasn’t experienced a pandemic like this, no one is prepared to deal with this, and no one knows what to expect. Indeed, it is a time of overwhelming stress.

What more, the reduced structure to your day has disrupted your routine. If you find that you’re often in the kitchen, thinking about your next meal, eating more than you think you need, or stress

What is Emotional Eating?

When you eat in response to an emotional state, rather than hunger-it is emotional eating. People naturally eat for a wide variety of reasons—emotional state is among them—and this is perfectly normal.

There is nothing wrong with you if you find that food is one of the things you turn to during this stressful time. And research shows that emotional eating is more common among those who do not eat enough.

eating—we promise that you’re not alone.

Conquer emotional eating in the right way

First, practice acceptance. If food is what gets you through this time, it’s not the worst thing—actually, it may be good self-care.

Your body and your body weight will change throughout your lifetime. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes; maybe your pre-pandemic weight was suppressed or maybe you were stressed and needed to gain weight to survive. Maybe it will go back down when you return to “normal life” and maybe it won’t. You have value no matter what your weight.

Make Sure You Are Eating Enough

You do not need to reduce the amount you are eating just because you are now quarantined at home. Our diet-obsessed society sends many messages that eating less is better and that we are more virtuous if we restrict what we eat.

However, such dietary restriction often backfires leading to emotional eating, binge eating, and the opposite of what’s intended-weight gain. By eating enough regularly throughout the day you will reduce episodes of stress or unplanned eating. You will also likely help stabilize your blood sugar and regulate your mood.

Stay Connected

During this time of social distancing, it’s more important than ever to maintain our connections. Make sure you stay in contact with friends, family, colleagues, and coworkers. Fortunately, with phones and the internet, there are many options for doing so.

Eating more than you intended may be distressing. Beating yourself up about it only increases your distress.

Now, more than ever is a time to try to protect your emotional well being. Take this time to slow down and rest. Try to nourish yourself, get enough sleep, and be gentle with yourself. You do not have to go through this time alone.

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