HIIT the Spot: An Easy Solution to Stress Eating

Overeating is a common problem for people all across America, and the reasons we do this don’t begin and end with mere feelings of hunger. Many times, there’s a psychological factor to blame for this concerning health issue. Often, we feel a need to eat food when we’re experiencing a high level of emotion, regardless of whether our bodies are actually craving nutrients or not. Stress is often something which propels us to eat more than we should. Unfortunately, the foods we usually reach for during times of high anxiety usually aren’t the best for us. After all, it’s called “comfort food” for a reason. It may difficult to simply quit this kind of habit cold turkey, which is why it’s much more effective to replace it with a healthier habit instead.

How High-Intensity Interval Training Can Banish Stress Eating

You already know that working out is a vital way to improve your physical and mental health. However, there’s a particular type of exercise you may be unfamiliar with — high-intensity interval training — which can greatly reduce stress, especially when you need quick relief. 

So what exactly is high-intensity interval training, and how can it help reduce your likelihood of overeating due to stress? A session of high-intensity interval training involves short, intense bursts of exercise preceded and followed by slightly longer periods of rest and cooling down. For example, the average person might go about this by walking on a treadmill for 30 seconds, running as fast as they can on the treadmill for 10 or 15 seconds, then cooling down by walking on the treadmill for 20 seconds. They can continue this pattern for up to 15 more minutes if they’d like, but for the purposes of banishing stress quickly, only doing one minute’s worth of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be enough to get results. 

Still, how does this banish feelings of hunger? After all, doesn’t exercise speed up the metabolism and make us more hungry? The key thing to remember is that exercise, especially HIIT, is also great for reducing levels of stress in the body. Performing a super quick HIIT session can help you determine whether you’re hungry because your body needs nutrients, or whether you’re just highly stressed out.

The next time you feel tempted to reach for a bag of potato chips while dealing with a stressful client or situation at work, consider doing HIIT, and see if you’re still hungry afterwards. 

mini nachos at harvey’s, scott richard by torbakhopper is licensed under CC BY 4.0

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.