Many of us have dealt with (or often deal with) the habit of eating out of stress or bad mood. Before jumping to very cliché conclusions, I think we should reflect on what is going on with us.
Personally speaking, most of the time, I am stressing out or going through a “rough mood”, I have noticed that I tend to feel sleepy in the morning and often feel too drowsy to concentrate for the first few work hours of the day. This must also be noted, not necessarily, I stay up at night during “these times”.
Last weekend I went down an internet rabbit hole and it was actually helpful. I ended up reading many articles on food habits, stress eating and related consequences that referenced nutritionists and dieticians from the USA. I found much useful information that helped me understand better about how my eating habits are responsible for the drowsiness in the morning.
Stress is a good “appetizer”
I believe at least some of you will relate to me as I share you what happens from my perspective. In my case, stress is a great appetizer. When I work really hard to meet the deadline, and since I work from home, I give the nearby Chinese, Indian and Italian takeaways a hard time during such times. Also, when I am in a sour mood, like really sour, I tend to nurse on Fettuccine, Chicken Biryani or Fried Dumplings. I have always been aware of the fact that these foods aren’t really doing good to my health, but I didn’t really understand how this would affect me other than increasing the body mass index.
Mood Food or Nap Food?
Most articles I read had a common theme, how these additional carbs, namely simple carbohydrates are responsible for many of the consequences of “stress-eating” or “grumpy-eating”. According to the experts, when we are stressing out for some reason, like rushing to a tight, impending deadline, some changes happen to the body. The blood pressure rises, the heart rate increase and body makes more glucose to help us out with more energy supply. As you can understand, our blood already has a higher level of sugar. This is when we introduce our body to more carbohydrates as we eat “stress foods”, high on simple carbohydrates. Also, experts said excessive simple carbohydrate intake would make us drowsy and sleepy. Which is why we feel like we could use a nap when we leave for work after a great binge of high carb dinner. You can safely say, your mood-foods are the invisible catnips that almost makes you sleep at work at first hours.
Should we “cut” carbs?
I am not qualified to give any suggestions or advice. However, I will let you know about the decisions I have made based on what I have read. I will be more meticulous about my stress eating habits. I will try my best to manage my stress and distract myself from binge eating. However, I am going to stuff my cupboard with whole grain bread and wheat if I need to make some tortillas. And I am going to choose lighter dishes as takeaway orders. More vegetable and fish dishes than buttery meat ones, more steamed dishes than the fried ones. And when I’m in the sour ice-cream tub attacking mood, I will replace the tub of ice cream with a tub of yoghurt. I’ve heard eating yoghurt with berries are great and I will be making it more regular. To be honest, I have partaken this practice already, stress or not. Mixed berries are good for health.
Please remember, these are only my opinion. It is okay to be tempted to take the greasy, carb-y road. But the trick lies in diverting the unhealthy temptation to healthier ones. I suggest you take professional advice. And not to give in. Best of luck!