Sometimes stress eating happens when you get angry at a work colleague, or maybe a recent crush has gone MIA. And then you put your hand into a bag of Cheetos or whatever you can find in there, and this is normal because you want to find relief. And the first thing that pops into your mind is “food.”
Stress eating happens when you want to disconnect yourself from a moment of discomfort, so you tend to channel your brain into something else.
Before we proceed to discuss the tips to curb stress eating, it’s important to know that stress eating is entirely different from eating disorders. If you feel you have disordered eating tendencies or symptoms, its best to see your doctor because these tips might not work for you.
Know the Cause
The first step to stop overeating is to know precisely why you are stress eating; it could be that you are bored or just stressed.
If you have noticed that you eat more than you should at a sitting, then you need to question yourself. You need to know whether you are eating because you are hungry or if there is some other reason.
Right before you dive into that next plate of food, ask yourself the essence of the food you are about to eat. Search deep within yourself to know how you are feeling at that exact moment if you are stressed, bored, or lonely. Asking yourself these questions would help you understand why you are overeating and also would help in controlling your eating habit.
That aside, it can be a bit challenging to handle and curb overeating, so you may need to seek professional help.
However, you most likely would need to see a doctor if you usually eat to the point where you are feeling discomfort, and afterward, you get to feel guilty for eating that much. But these are the signs of disordered eating.
Think About The Long Term
Pause and reflect on how you have wanted to maintain a particular shape and your weight loss journey so far. Recall the weight loss goals you are hoping to achieve, and that way, you would realize that stress eating would do much harm to your waistline than you thought. Thinking about this can get you out of the moment and eat healthier foods instead of focusing on tasty treats 24/7.
Exercise To Reduce Stress
When you are physically fit, you are less likely to feel stressed at any little happenings. If you are always exercising, it can cause chemical changes in the brain, which would suppress your stress levels. But unfortunately, stress can make you not even move an inch, talk more of exercising. If you are currently stressed and cannot muster up the drive to engage in simple workout routines, then try increasing the amount of walking you do, you can also do a house clean up, or other forms of movement you do on a norm. This would help reduce your stress level, and you won’t have to run to food for comfort.
Master The Act Of Intuitive Eating
Intuitive eating is all about paying attention to the natural hunger and fullness signals that your brain and gut send. When you understand how these signals work, you would be able to determine the time, what to eat, and how much to eat. Once you can trust these signals, you would be able to allow yourself to give in to cravings once in a while, without feeling guilty afterward, because you know when to stop.
You would be able to eat based on how hungry you are, and not because you are stressed out.
Eating intuitively gives you the ability to understand what your body should feel like when you are truly hungry versus when that hunger is as a result of stress. So, when you understand this, you would have more control and know how to manage stress eating.
Reach Out For Help
It would help if you can talk to close friends and family about your unhealthy reactions to stress because they would be able to give you the needed support.
However, if you feel guilt or shame after overeating, you may want to seek professional help.
Get Rid of The Temptation
It’s easy to open up the fridge and snack on the first thing you food you find yummy if you have stress eating tendencies. It’s best to take away the “hard-to-resist food” from your home so that you can channel your feeling into something else. A quick tip: when you are feeling hungry, chill on running to the grocery store until you get your emotions back in check.