We just went through a major hurricane in Florida and it created anxiety and stress for a week before it hit. We knew it was coming, we knew it was going to be bad, and we had to prepare. As stores closed for days, gas and water were gone, we sat through the weekend with beautiful weather just waiting. Waiting for a monster storm to overtake our state. It was unnerving to say the least.
One theme that developed throughout my social media was emotional and stress eating. In preparation for the power being out, most of us stocked up on non-perishable foods. Bread, spaghetti-o’s, canned soup and beans, and potato chips were flying off the shelves! This meme showed up in my feed and Instagram more times than I can count.
People were eating their hurricane supplies before the hurricane even got here!
All these posts about gaining weight due to Irma and eating and drinking like it was the end of the world got me thinking. What does this say about your connection to food? Do you use food to soothe, to comfort? For some, this is a real issue every single day of their life! Hurricane Irma was an immediate stressor. But we have stressors every single day. If you are struggling with emotional and stress eating, I encourage you to look into why food has become your drug of choice. It is usually something way deeper than “I’m stressed.”
Mayo Clinic has a great article about gaining control of stress eating. There is a list of tips to help you cope. I would also add that having a Nutrition Plan can help keep you focused on eating well. Pre-hurricane, I meal prepped for the Hurricane, just like I meal prep for the week. I had all our regular meals on hand. In the event we lost power, I would have transferred the food to coolers with ice.**(see note.) Another thought to remember is if it’s not in the house, you don’t have it available to eat. Don’t purchase things to eat that aren’t on your nutrition plan!
Having a Nutrition Plan in place helps set you up for success in eating healthy. Meal Planning and Prepping are useful tools to practice. In times of stress and disorder, if you already have these practices in place, eating well is a habit. You don’t have to think about it because it is what you do everyday and it is what you continue to do. A hurricane (or any other stressor) doesn’t become a excuse to binge, indulge or overeat.
**I would like to add that I did not have to evacuate my home. I realize in the event of evacuation, meal prepping would not be high on the list of things to do!