Stress baking may be even more insidious than stress eating itself, in that you tend to eat even more sweets and generously “share” (read “push”) them on others.
The sharing part can be (of course) an innocent loving act, in which you share your homemade goodies that you know others will not be able to resist, and will sing your praises.
But for the most part, you aren’t doing them any favors, and you may be sharing your goodies so that you can have your cake and eat it too (just not ALL of it.)
It’s a strategy to control your own compulsive eating.
Ask any teacher about the goodies in the teacher’s lounge. It’s notoriously filled with sweets that are generously shared. Yes, I think teachers are probably some of the best bakers in the world!
Yet others can be filled with anxiety about overdoing it with so many goodies that are impossible to resist.
I recently read that the difference between a muffin and a cupcake is that when you throw the cupcake against the wall, it goes “smoosh” whereas the muffin falls flat.
I haven’t tested it out, but I confess to falling prey to stress baking, both my own and others. I love to bake to relax, and in my house, the leftovers don’t last long. But if I go on a baking spree, then we are all eating too much.
During the holidays, I bake only for special events and social get togethers. I keep the holidays as simple as possible, and I’ve tried to make a baking plan, so that I am not stress eating or stress baking. And I try to be sensitive to others who may be struggling to control their stress and overeating.
And I have deliberately stopped some of the baking traditions, so that I’m not making multitudes of sweets that my family doesn’t need.
Some traditions have long outlived their usefulness and just beg to be changed! In fact, sweets are by request only.
It’s still nice to have holiday traditions – they just don’t have to be fattening!
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