The US has been considered the number one country in the world for more than a century. It is the place where most people desire to live, it has the reputation of being the land where dreams come true, and those that live here, whether born here or have migrated to this land, are considered to have reached their pinnacle of success. While this nation has topped many lists that demonstrate its success as a land of opportunity, there are a some lists that US has topped that its citizens might not be proud of. According to a report in the US News and World Report,
America’s waistline continues to expand, according to a study published today in the Lancet. The obesity epidemic remains the biggest public health issue facing the country, and despite awareness of the need to get in shape, more than a third of the country is now obese.
The fact is that America has made the number one spot for the most obese country in the world. There may be many reasons why we’ve reached this point that could range from lack of mobility to poor diets but probably one of the most common causes of our weight gain is the habit of stress eating. Reports show that the strongest cravings for food often happen when people are at their weakest point emotionally. Here are a few tips to help you to recognize the signs of stress eating and what you can do about it.
Recognize the Connection Between Mood, Food and Weight Loss
Emotional eating, which is sometimes also called “stress eating,” is often done as a means of suppressing negative feelings that we all have. These feelings could include anything from anger, fear, and boredom to sadness or loneliness. One of the first steps to fighting off that stress eating urge is to recognize the triggers that increase your negative emotions. These could be unemployment, financial pressure, health problems, relationship conflicts, work stress, and fatigue. Sometimes these feelings are so interlinked with your regular eating habits that you reach for food without even being aware of it. Many are about as conscious of this habit as they are of their breathing in and out every day. This may soothe your emotions for a while but soon those feelings come back along with guilt when you realize what you’ve already consumed.
What Can You Do About It?
While it may seem like you’re fighting a losing battle, there are things that you can do to slow down and sometimes even stop your stress eating habits. If you can’t obtain mastery over your stress level consider keeping a food diary. The act of writing down everything that you eat, how much, and when you eat can help you identify certain behavior patterns. This way you can stop the negative eating behavior before it can cause too much weight gain. If you find that you must eat, try to keep healthy snacks around rather than the traditional junk foods that most people reach for.
There are many ways you can learn how to control your negative eating habits. While this may be a major problem that many people are not even conscious of, there are things that can be done to reduce the temptation to eat when you’re not hungry. According to Dr. Oz,
Everyone comfort eats now and then.,.. While small doses of stress eating aren’t necessarily physically dangerous, they can quickly develop into a habit. This habit can lead to weight gain or prevent you from losing weight.
By being aware of the signs of stress and your personal triggers, you can take active steps to reduce your level of temptation to eat when you’re not hungry. By doing this you can probably see how stress has impacted your life in more ways than you can imagine.