In times of intense anxiety and stress, overeating is a reality, with food offering instant relief and pleasure. But when eating tends to turn into overconsumption, then we talk about stress eating: overeating due to intense emotions. But how is this eating behaviour treated and how can our healthy relationship with food be restored?

1. Pay attention to your warning signs of stress
The body reacts to stressors. During this stage, the body begins to release cortisol and epinephrine. We have to realize it, try to eliminate it, and deal with stress in another way — for example, by going for a walk to clear our mind or by taking a few deep breaths.

2. Redefining food
Stress eating is unhealthy because most people are looking for foods without nutrients. This occurs because junk food offers immediate gratification in contrast to healthier food choices that are considered less interesting. We should therefore adopt a nutritional mindset, based on which food belongs to a forbidden category. 

3. Ask yourself, “Am I hungry?”
In times of intense anxiety and stress, it is likely that one will consume the snack that is in their field of vision or that is easily accessible, even if they do not feel hungry. In this case we should ask ourselves if we are really hungry or if some other emotion is leading us to eat. In the second case, it is imperative to recognize these feelings and at the same time try to eliminate them. Simply asking yourself if you are hungry is a helpful start.

4. Try a Stress Management Program instead: