Research indicates a jump in eating disorders linked to stress on the job. One recent article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlighted a study in Finland which identified a direct correlation between occupational stress and overeating. Scientists tracked the eating habits of 230 women and found that work-related burnout can lead to a craving for carbohydrates like cookies and potato chips. Is work causing you to overeat?
Is your job health-smart?
Out of desperation, many of us are willing to grab any source of income to pay bills. This may seem like the best plan when the first of the month is approaching and your bank account is bare. However, taking a job that is not supportive, stimulating and gratifying can have a disastrous impact in the long run. It may be time to do an honest evaluation of your occupation. If stress on the job is leading to poor health choices like incessant food intake, then step back, take some deep breaths and take a look at your situation. Is this field rewarding or does it follow in the path of your career goals? Is there an area that you long to explore, but fear of the unknown keeps you from diving into uncharted territory? One study of heart attack victims showed that most attacks occur on Monday morning. It has been suggested that the stress of facing another week of working at an unsatisfactory job is the culprit in many of these cases.
On top of that, constant snacking while at work is a distraction and impedes productivity. A work area full of emergency rations may be indicative of an employee who is not fully on target and is missing the mark in some areas. Also, obsessive eating can mask other things that are off balance. Hypoglycemia, clinical depression, Candida overgrowth and intestinal parasites are a few of the physical conditions that can activate excessive consumption. If you notice a relentless desire to nibble, you may want to get a check-up.
Non-food suggestions to relieve job stress
- Squeeze in a mini-workout while at your work station. Stretching exercises are quick and easy and instantly elevate one’s mood.
- Use headphones and subliminal stress reducing sound tracks.
- Take a break with special eye glasses that use LED (light emitting diodes) and xenon strobe lights to cancel anxiety.
- Eliminate white sugar from your diet. This ingredient alone can trigger cravings and uncontrolled eating.
- Detox—toxins in the body cause malnourishment which stimulates overeating. In the absence of adequate nutrition, the body constantly sends the message to take in more food.
- Sniffing essential oils can create a peaceful disposition. Lavender, orange and ylang-ylang are some of the most popular essential oils used to quickly de-stress. A few drops on a cotton ball can calm body and mind.
If you find yourself eating to get through your work day, assess your profession and make adjustments. You can craft the optimum balance and be sure that you are putting yourself in a healthy environment.
Has there ever been a time in your career where you overate because you were stressed? How did you handle the situation? Let us know in the comments section below!