To say 2020 has been stressful would be an understatement – and this election cycle isn’t making anything easier.
There is a lot of collective anxiety at this time, which can lend itself to more emotional eating, which makes perfect sense.
But if you’re someone who stress eats, there are some ways to be smart about it.
1. Don’t overdo it
You can enjoy a glass of wine, a baked chocolate chip cookie, a scoop of ice cream or even a handful of salty cashews... but aim to give yourself a limit.
2. Pre-portion your snacks
If you are having trouble with portion control, you can try putting small portions of chips, pretzels and cookies into zip-top bags, which can help you naturally avoid eating out of supersize bags or containers. To make it easier to control alcohol consumption, put the wine bottle (or extra cans of beer) out of sight after you pour.
3. Pick plant-based comfort foods
Research consistently shows that plant-based diets are linked with a lower risk of obesity, hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
4. Give your indulgences a nutritional upgrade
Even if you don’t regularly cook, you can still give your meals and snacks a nutritional boost.
Having trouble parting with pasta? Go for lentil or chickpea pastas instead -- They have a hearty bite and will boost fiber and protein.
When it comes to sweets, if you enjoy ice cream, add fiber and berries or diced mango on top.
Chocolate lovers can pair it with some fruit.
Try dipping berries, kiwi or apple slices in melted chocolate; then refrigerate.
Finally, make some time for tea.
Sipping tea, can help a stress-induced craving pass. Green tea in particular has less caffeine than coffee, tons of antioxidants and amino acids that can reduce stress and promote calm feelings.