Tips to curb your holiday stress eating

Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 12:13 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The holiday season is here and between the stress of planning a safe gathering to worrying about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no wonder health experts are concerned about American’s overeating.

According to the latest data from the CDC, 42% of Americans are considered obese and American Psychological Association says, 33% of adults who report overeating because of stress say they do so because it’s a distraction and then becomes a habit.

Experts say emotionally eating lots of food with little nutrition can weaken our immune systems and worsen our moods at a time when protecting our bodies and staying positive is particularly important.

Marilyn Meade Penrod, RN, behavioral health coordinator with Palmetto Health-USC Weight Management Center said “foods that are usually high in fat and sugar are known to have a calming affect on the brain and the nervous system by stimulating serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good chemicals in the brain.”

Penrod also had these quick tips to share on the Prisma Health blog for anyone who’s struggling.

  • Acknowledge your stress
  • Manage your thoughts
  • Exercise
  • Learn to breathe
  • Connect with others

You can find more details on the Prisma Health website.

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