Stress Eating during Coronavirus (COVID-19)

stressed is desserts backwards

Stress and emotional eating?

I just read a great BBC article that I wanted to share with you that pertains to how to deal with eating in stressful times.  

I’ll add the link at the bottom.  

By now I’m sure you have heard someone mention or see a meme about how they might be getting the COVID-19lbs.   Meaning that while we are dealing with this pandemic, they are resorting to food for comfort

A lot of our normal routines are out of wack.   For many of us, our gyms and workout classes are closed.   Even other outdoor activities such as golf, surfing, or any Bootcamp type classes are off-limits.   

This is definitely a different time we are in.  

Our brains are wired to avoid pain and seek out pleasure.   And for many of us, sugary, processed, concentrated foods give us a source of pleasure. This is a form of buffering. Meaning, a way to avoid dealing with emotions.  

That is why it is so common for someone to reach for sweet sugary snacks when stressed.   Chocolate is a big one for me.

This can help feel good in the short term, but many times, it leads to feelings of guilt, shame and more stress.

Emotional eating is very common.   Whether it be because of stress, depression, boredom, etc.   

The BBC article I mentioned above gave some good pointers to help avoid being triggered to reach for those types of foods.  


The first pointer is to stay social.   Humans aren’t meant to be locked up and separated from each other.   Luckily for us, we have technology that can help us stay connected.   

If you are feeling stressed, lonely, or bored, reach out to a friend.  They may just feel the same way.

I just had a zoom call yesterday with friends that were in SoCal, Washington DC, and Texas.   It was a great hour and a half of laughing and getting caught up.

Some other friends had a Zoom happy hour.   You can spend time with your friends sipping on your favorite drink and maybe even share what you made and how you made it.  

We are very fortunate to have this type of technology at our fingertips right now. 

Eating meals with your family is another great option.   


Social Media and following the media are big triggers.   The whole mission of the media is to grab as much of your mindshare as possible.   

Knowing that our brains are constantly seeking pleasure and searching for ways to avoid pain, it is easy to get caught up watching the news and scrolling through social media all day. 

Most of the time, these types of activities don’t leave you feeling better.  

One thing you can do to combat this is to spend as much time on something positive.  Whether it be reading a book, listening to a podcast, or doing something productive.   

The article talk about having 30 minutes of “worry time”.   Set a timer and let all your stress, frustrations, and worries out.  Write it out on paper and get it out of your head.   This alone might be a game-changer for many.  

Think of different ways you can distract yourself positively.   Go for a walk, work on a project, etc.   Think of positive thoughts or mantras you can tell yourself.   

The list can go on and on.   

Learning to manage stress and manage our urges for food in times like this can be challenging for some people.

Take advantage of this time to self connect.   The social pressures of going out to dinner or functions are gone.   This is the perfect opportunity to start practicing how to manage your thoughts around food.   

Many of you, control what comes into your home.   

If you take the opportunity, I promise you will be stronger, wiser, and feel better.   

BBC article:

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