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Fighting Stress with Comfort Food?

Here are our top 3 strategies to avoid binging on fast food...

Dr. Gwen Bingle
May 19, 2023
Strategy no. 1: Collage with young man eating noodles at his desk vs. restaurant scene

Are you so stressed out that you down burgers or instant noodles in front of your computer screen between two meetings? Or do you make do with coffee and a chocolate bar?

Unfortunately, fast food only makes things worse: it doesn't provide you with the nutrients you so desperately need, and your frazzled brain misses out on a much-needed break. How do you expect to remain creative? Our strategy no. 1 is: DO NOT EAT ALONE! Instead, arrange to meet nice people – be it only for half an hour. You'll get a bit of movement and a breath of fresh air on your way to the cafeteria or the restaurant. And there will probably be healthier alternatives there too. And, who knows, a relaxed chat may even trigger a new perspective on your current project…

By the way: for the introverts among us, a date with a favourite tree or a nice park bench can also work wonders!

Strategy no. 2: collage with young woman hesitating between a donut and an apple vs. mason jars filled with healthy foods

Your big project is nearing the deadline. It’s late morning or early evening and you're flagging ... It's been a long time since your last meal. In fact, have you eaten at all?

The newsagent’s next door stocks donuts, pizza, and a lonely apple. Your ailing blood sugar level has long settled for the donut ... but after the euphoria of the sugar kick, you feel sluggish again. Our strategy no. 2 is MEAL/SNACK PREP! Even in stressful times, you can take a few minutes in the evening or early morning to put together nutritious snacks or a healthy meal. In a pinch, you can even grab one on your way to work. To defeat your lower instincts, we suggest layering tasty and colourful seasonal ingredients in a mason jar (it looks so much more appetising than in a plastic container!). Depending on the season, you could e.g. try carrots, pears, seeds, celery and cheese. And don’t forget to stock up on healthy treats with a longer shelf life such as apples, nuts or very dark chocolate, so you won't be tempted to binge on starchy and/or sugary treats.

Strategy no. 3: overhead picture of a group sharing a meal at table


Our final strategy? SHARING HEALTHY FOOD! How about sharing and/or preparing delicious (and nutritious) food with a small group of like-minded people? Sounds like a huge effort? Not if it is once a week and the responsibility is distributed fairly. We find these approaches work well:

a sit-down buffet: every person brings a small contribution, and everything is shared. The bonuses are many: you're bound to make more of an effort than you would just for yourself, you benefit from the cooking skills of others, and you get inspiration for cooking at home, too!  

a rota system: in twos, you take turns preparing the meal for the group. The benefits: when it's not your turn, you can just sit back and enjoy the food. And when it is your turn, it forces you to get creative. Even without culinary talents, a nice brunch will always be appreciated!

Beyond the culinary variety, it is scientifically proven that sharing food brings many health benefits: social eating strengthens the sense of community and provides optimal support for your physical and mental health.

So give it a try! We wish you good luck...

Picture credits

Cover: Tim Samuel / pexels

Collage 1: pictures from Adobe Stock und Sam Rio / pexels

Collage 2: pictures from Adobe Stock

Collage 3: picture from Fauxels / pexels

Dr. Gwen Bingle
epiAge Deutschland Content & Customer Relations
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