By Praveshh Gaur
'Stressed spelt backwards reads as desserts' Is this coincidence? I think not! Eating too much at a time or taking in extra calories such as sweets, chocolates and so on, throughout the day are common and unhealthy habits that can be very hard to break. As anyone who's very concerned about their weight or fat will know that hunger is just one of the reasons to overeat. People, especially with the tendency of emotional eating are often vulnerable in making weak diet choices. And the habit of emotional eating will be seen in most situations, where this person tends to use food as a reward for emotions such as happiness, stress, anxiety, etc.
In India, occupational stress or work stress has seen a phenomenal growth among working professionals and millennials these days. According to a report by Cigna TTK Health Insurance, 89% of India's population is suffering from stress compared to the global average of 86% and this has led the way to many employees towards overconsumption of food during office hours. Such a lifestyle takes a toll on their mental and physical well-being which can lead to major health issues in the long run. Managing workplace stress is very crucial and there are numerous preventive measures to avoid eating at the workplace for a stress-free workforce.
Considering these simple tips can help you cut down on munching those extra calories and develop healthier eating habits when you're stressed:
Sip on a drink: While you're feeling stressed, you can sip on green tea or black coffee instead of a snack. These beverages contain amino acid which increases the levels of relaxing chemicals in your brain and proves as a very effective tool to calm you down.
Take mini-breaks: When you are feeling the urge to eat, it's best to get away from your desk and step out for 10 -15 minutes to take a walk. Fresh air is a natural way to cope with stress while a bit of exercise can help you curb those unwanted cravings too.
Try distracting yourself: If you're craving for something that you should be avoiding, engage your mind someplace else – a fun activity or just talking to a friend/work buddy. Social support can go a long way to process your feelings making you feel unstressed.
Don't skip meals: An inadequate diet can make you feel stressed and likely to increase binge eating at your desk. It's important to have sufficient amounts of meals that may actually put a stop to your random cravings.
Try healthier options: Munch on dry fruits such as unsalted almonds, nuts, pumpkin seeds etc. Similarly, you may also consider taking fruits such as banana, apple, pomegranate which offer high nutritious value.
Staying organised: It's vital in a workplace that you identify the task causing you stress and work backwards in managing it. Planning ahead of time against tight deadlines can decrease stress and help you to perform efficiently at your tasks.
Listen to music: Listening to your favourite music when feeling stress can help you combat stress and make you feel relieved instantly. One of the most effective ways, this brings many benefits to the table and also gets you more relaxed in dealing with pressure/workload.
Try deep breathing: During the time of stress, remember to inhale deeply which will offer you an immediate calming effect and also ensure better decision-making skills.
(The author is Founder and Director Srauta Wellness. Views expressed are the author's own.)