Stress Eating: 4 Reasons Why it Is Dangerous For Students
Emotional eating or stress eating is a habit when an individual overeats in response to his/her emotions. The person suffering from this condition thinks that he is getting rid of his/her negative emotions through this eating habit. Additionally, some people also overeat to enhance their mood. For instance, they may eat without any limitations while celebrating a wedding of their best friend. Moreover, some people may cram while expecting some reward from their friends or closed ones.
Stress eating triggered by negative emotions can be dangerous for young people as it can cause various negative behaviours and attitudes in an individual. Youngsters or students suffering from emotional eating mostly eat foods rich in carbohydrates, making them feel good. It is observed that students suffer more from this illness as compared to any other age group. According to a 2016 study conducted on 23 students of a Brazilian university, there is a strong connection between high-stress levels and stress eating. This study also revealed that students involved in this kind of habit mostly consume junk foods such as burgers and sandwiches. This research study was carried out on students having ages between 18 to 30.
Emotional eating and weight gain
There is a strong connection between stress eating and weight gain. It is a well-known fact that we feel the urge to eat sugarily or junk food such as ice cream while stressed out. We are comfortable eating these kinds of foods as they are readily available and effortless to eat.
According to Finnish research on more than 5,000 people, there is a strong link between stress eating and obesity.
Short-term stress reduces the appetite, but long-term stress persists in students as they continuously score well in their academics. Therefore, they have to eat repeatedly due to high-stress levels that cause weight gain in them. Thus, in that case, adrenal glands release another hormone known as cortisol, and this gland increases appetite. In addition to that, this gland also increases the motivation to eat more. Appetite decreases with a reduction in the stress levels. However, this thing doesn’t happen in students as they have to work hard continuously throughout their academic career.
Serious diseases may be caused by Stress eating
Stressful situations can force youngsters to eat unhealthy junk food. Stress increases appetite in people, and they develop a habit of overeating. Students living in hostels away from their homes don’t like to cook food. Therefore, junk food such as pizza, burgers and sandwiches serve as the best option for them.
Students kill their hunger by consuming these kinds of foods, but overconsumption of these foods is dangerous as they are high in carbohydrates. Overconsumption of carbohydrates can cause deadly diseases in youngsters. Stress eating for a more extended period of time could cause diabetes or heart problems.
Stress eating and overspending
Habits of stress eating and overspending are intertwined. These habits are closely tied as often students feel difficulty managing their expenses since they indulge in the uncontrollable habit of overeating due to stress. They can’t control their overeating habit as they want to divert their attention from their stressful personal problems.
This habit can become extremely frustrating for them as students can’t manage their budgets due to their parents’ dependence. Everyone knows that most parents have limited entertainment budgets for their college or university going kids. Therefore, students must control this habit before it’s too late.
Psychological issues are caused by Stress eating
Students suffering from stress eating are mostly involved in mindless eating, so most students are overweight. Whenever they stand in front of the mirror, they feel ashamed, depressed and guilty. They think that they have gained weight due to their uncontrollable eating habits. This thought makes them more stressed, and that starts a vicious cycle of mindless stress eating. Resultantly, these kinds of youngsters often suffer from depression, anxiety and other psychological problems due to their uncontrollable eating habits.
The crux of the matter
Our above discussion shows that stress eating is a dangerous habit for students. Therefore, they must get rid of this habit as soon as possible. They can get rid of this habit by following some tips. Students must make a healthy diet plan by consulting an expert nutritionist or by a dietitian. Students must strictly follow this diet plan without any outside intervention. They must also involve themselves in healthy activities such as riding, hiking, running, swimming, or yoga.
Students must also analyze their stress-eating behaviours by keeping a diary of their eating habits. They should try to figure out the triggers that cause them to be involved in stress eating. Sometimes several mood behaviours and attitudes can cause stress eating. It will help them in assessing the true nature of their hunger. Then they will know that their hunger is physical or emotional.
In addition to the activities mentioned above, students could also improve their emotional support system. They must make friends and consult them in difficult times since close friends know and understand them better than anyone else in the world. Moreover, students can also join private emotional support groups who can provide solutions for their stressful issues.
Students can also divert their mind through exciting activities such as listening to music or watching their favourite shows whenever they feel hungry. Lastly, students must also focus on positive things happening in their lives and forget stressful things. They should set long term life objectives and must also make day-wise strategies and schedules to achieve them. They should also remember that life is a beautiful thing. Therefore, it is so stupid to waste it with stress and sorrow.