Drinking too much?

The average woman consumes 118 calories more than normal under stress, while nearly a third of us admit to reaching for the bottle to drink our cares away. “Food and alcohol give us pleasure and so we turn to them when we’re under pressure,” says Professor Jason Halford, reader in Appetite and Obesity at Liverpool Obesity Research Network.

If all you’re having is one glass of wine or a chocolate bar, you’re doing more good by relaxing than harm by drinking. “But if it makes you feel sad, depressed and guilty or affects you physically, ie you gain weight, you need to tackle it,” says Professor Halford.

Stressbuster: Identify your personal stress reaction. “The first reaction to stress all of us feel is fear,” says life coach Benjamin Fry. “But we don’t all respond to that fear in the same way. Some of us get angry, others sad or lonely. Respond to your personal reaction.” So if you’re angry, go and pound fast on the treadmill.

If you’re lonely, talk over your worries with someone. If you’re sad, do something that makes you happy. “Instead of swallowing your emotions down with food or drink, feed yourself what you really need”. 

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