How To Deal With Stress Eating During COVID-19

So, you've tried to buy healthy foods to eat during the lock down. You may have even done some research on how to stock your pandemic pantry  with healthy foods. Somehow, a few bags of potato chips and chocolate chip cookies accidentally showed up at your house the last time you shopped for groceries.

Stress eating is a normal response to being stuck at home by yourself (or with your kids) with a pantry full of food in a world that has changed overnight.

What to do? Do you cave to your salt and chocolate cravings and eat them in one sitting? Do you lock up your pantry so that you can't eat or just feel so bad that you can't eat?

Here are a few resources that might be helpful:

The Washington Post's article "Stress-eating for comfort in a time of anxiety? Here’s how experts say you should deal." Explains why stress eating junk food, or eating too little or not at all can be detrimental to both your psychological and physical health. It gives readers tips on how to identify whether or not you are eating (or not eating) because you're stressed and advice on how to make healthy food and eating choices.

Prevention's article "12 Ways To Stop Your Stress Eating, According To Nutritionists And Food Psychologists" also offers quick tips to help you avoid eating overeating the wrong things or simply overeating.

Psychology Today's article "How to Stop Overeating" written by Susan Biali Haas M.D., an expert on stress and resilience tells  how from the ages of ten through twenty she was "obsessed" with dieting and how she looked.

The article describes how a chance appointment with a dietician changed all of that.  The clinician explained that given the how much exercise she was getting and the minimal amount that she was eating her dieting was suppressing her metabolism and potentially causing weight gain.

The dietician gave her a rule to follow: '...only eat when you're truly hungry, and stop when you're full".'

Twenty years later Dr. Biali Haas is still following that rule and she weighs slightly less than she did when she was dieting.

HEALTHFLIX is a new online community designed to help everyone get through the stress and isolation of the pandemic. They offer both live streaming and You Tube recording of health and wellness programs  led by experts.

You might want to check out their YouTube recording: How to Manage Emotional Eating in Quarantine.

HEALTHFLIX's Chelsea Roff is the founder of Eat Breathe Thrive a nonprofit organization that works to prevent and help people overcome eating disorders. They offer courses and workshops for clinicians, eating disorder patients and everyone else that combine yoga, meditation and community support to enable mindful eating, resilience and feeling good about your body.


What to do if you might have COVID-19

CDC Information and Self Check tools

If you or someone who lives with you has a fever or cough, and you fear it might be COVID-19, contact your doctor.

The CDC's What To Do if You Are Sick page is a good source of information that includes a self-checker to help you decide if you need more care.

Medical professionals may direct you to go directly to the CDC’s COVID-19 testing and self- checker page.


Another self-triage tool


This tool was developed with the help of primary care physicians using the latest recommendations from the CDC. While it is not a substitute for your doctor, it will help you determine what to do if you think you might have symptoms or may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

Stat News has more information on The self-triage tool to help you decide if you need medical care for Covid-19 and what to do next.

Click here  to get started with the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Self-Triage tool.

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