Even though there may be an evolutionary reason why we are tempted to eat when stressed, it isn’t a habit that benefits us. Stress eating is often the villain/antagonist behind weight gain or that stubborn, final four pounds. For many people, stress eating also allows them to avoid their stressors rather than focusing on finding a solution. Stress eating becomes a stressor in itself, creating an awful cycle, when it is a habit we want to break.
Most coping techniques were, at one point, functional to manage stress, but anything done to excess can be damaging. Grabbing a snack that can be quickly converted to glucose can help you think your way out of a problem, but a toll is taken on your waistline when overused. By the time you have gotten there, stress eating is a habit so stopping is slightly more complicated than admitting you have a problem. Awareness cannot just come after the deed is done, but must come prior to your actions if you want to change behavior.