How To Stop Emotional Eating Due to Stress
Are You Stressed?
Perhaps it's family or work that are causing you stress. Maybe it is a combination of things. Many people turn to food for comfort when they are under stress. Food is a great distraction, unfortunately overeating leads to obesity and health problems. Stress eating is extremely common. Becoming cognizant of this behavior is the first step to stopping it.
Why Do Some of Us Eat When Stressed?
Stress eating is linked to emotional eating. An increase in the Cortisol levels in our bodies can trigger carbohydrate cravings. Another thing we are doing when we are stressed is 'stuffing our emotions' with food. Foods, especially foods high in carbohydrates, release endorphines in our brains and temporarily make us feel better.
Using Different Techniques to Battle Stress
Finding positive outlets for your stress and planning ahead will prevent you from going to the fridge or heading to the vending machine at work. Deep breathing, counting or just get up and walk away. Sometimes when I find myself becoming stressed at work I will just take a break. Just going to the coffee machine or talking to a co-worker for a few moments can help you to de-stress.
Music is also my personal secret weapon to battling stress. Create a playlist with songs that make you feel good and listen to that playlist while you are working. This sounds so simple but it is extremely effective. Music is a great tool for creating a positive mood.
Be Cognizant of Your Emotions
Understanding what makes you tick and what triggers your stress is more than half the battle. Don't say to yourself 'screw it', and head to the vending machine. First admit that you feel your stress levels rising. Tell yourself, firmly, that eating is not an option. When we are stressed, we lose control. Address what you are feeling and admit that you are stressed. This gives you your power back.
Keep Healthy Snacks Nearby
If you are going to eat, eat healthy. Keep celery sticks, carrots, apple slices, almonds and low calorie crackers at work. Make sure your home is stocked with healthy goodies. A favorite of mine is cut up apple slices with a tablespoon of sugar-free peanut butter. Celery sticks and hummus also make a great snack food. Remember it's the sugary, high fat and empty carbohydrates that put on weight.
Water and herbal tea are also great alternatives to pigging out on junk food. You can add a squirt of lemon to your water for some added flavor, without the added calories!
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
People who exercise on a regular basis and eat right tend to have less stress and lower body fat than those who don't. People who have a balanced lifestyle, make time for friends and family also tend to have lower stress levels. Spend time with loved ones, take care of your body and most of all laugh often! Believe me, an unhappy person is much more prone to stress and over eating than one who is happy. Sure, your life may not be perfect, whose is? You can still have a life that is rich with love and joy. A positive, healthy attitude can make all the difference!