As the COVID-19 pandemic and winter season continue, you may be fighting the urge to eat your feelings. Although stress eating may be soothing at first, you likely won’t feel better in the end. Consuming excess calories in one sitting can cause fatigue, bloating, stomach discomfort and weight gain over time.
Consider the following ways to cope with stress eating:
- Indulge in moderation. Everything is OK in moderation, just don’t overdo it. Set yourself a limit before taking that first bite.
- Control portion sizes. On a similar note, make snacks easy to grab and go by pre-portioning them to help you save time and avoid overeating.
- Boost nutritional value. Introduce healthy swaps or additions to your favorite indulgences. For example, consider substituting pasta with zucchini noodles or adding healthy toppings to ice cream that you can fill up on instead.
- Choose “busy snacks.” Opt for healthy snacks that keep your hands busy, such as eating popcorn or dipping apple slices into peanut butter.
It could also be helpful to incorporate exercise or mindful activities into your routine for when you want to stress eat. It’s all about finding a strategy that works to help you feel better in the long run.
Don’t Forget, It’s National Blood Donor Month
- Winter is one of the most difficult times of the year to collect enough blood products and donations to meet patient needs. That’s why National Blood Donor Month is celebrated every January. This month, resolve to be a blood donor and consider the following health benefits of donating blood regularly:
- Detects health problems—Donated blood is tested, so you can find out if any irregularities were found. You’re also required to undergo a quick health screening prior to giving blood.
- Reduces heart disease risks—Donating can help eliminate any excess buildup of iron in the blood, which can lower your risk for a heart attack.
- Burns calories—The blood donation process typically burns 650 calories.
Before you roll up your sleeve and commit to being a regular blood donor, check if you meet the American Red Cross’ requirements to safely donate blood.