JACKSON, Miss–Your eyes probably roll every time you see something about Mississippi and obesity. It’s not just about the food–it’s about how you use it.
Stress eating. Maybe you’ve done it. It’s been a long day, so you decide to go home and have a few cookies. You crash in front of the TV with your snack, and minutes later the whole pack of cookies you had is not just a packet of crumbs.
“Food is a comfort.. it’s a control mechanism for other things going on in their lives,” says Sarah Lauren-Peacock, dietitian with Baptist Nutrition and Bariatric Center.
Peacock says that stress eating doesn’t happen when you’re actually hungry. It’s just a coping mechanism, a mindless activity. When you’re stress eating, you’re putting yourself at risk.
“People aren’t giving themselves enough time to feel full,” says Peacock.
Women tend to go for the sweets, where men tend to go for the salty.
“But it’s the easy-to-eat processed foods,” says Peacock, “the cakes, cookies, boxed and processed foods.”
Peacock recommends having healthy snacks at work so you’re not starving afterwards. When it comes to kicking the habit of stress eating, the issue is more emotional, not so much of a hunger issue.
“Go for a walk,” says Peacock, “distract yourself and stay away from the kitchen. Eat at the table and be mindful of it.”
Peacock recommends raw veggies, fruits, pretzels, and light, non-buttered popcorn for snacking throughout the day. For more information on stress eating or nutrition, call Baptist Nutrition and Bariatric Center at 601-973-1624.
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