If you turn to food when you’re stressed out, you’re not alone. Stress-eating can be a problem for many, and the added calories one takes in during a stressful binge can often leave one feeling even worse than when they began.
Anyone who has dealt with stress eating knows that it’s really about emotions, not real hunger. There is an inner need to soothe the stress by stuffing it down with food, or using it to fill an empty, emotional hole. And of course, it’s never healthy foods that do the trick. Learn how to avoid foods that might trigger a binge here.
It’s important to be able to identify your stress-eating triggers and to have a “plan of attack” for resisting the urge. It’s not easy, but we’re here to help. We’ve got 6 Tips to Help You Avoid Stress-Eating.
6 Tips to Help You Avoid Stress Eating:
1. Identify stressful situations that trigger an urge to eat. Knowing what triggers binges can help you to avoid these situations, or at the least, prepare for them.
2. Figure out what you should be doing instead of eating. This may seem basic, but in the middle of a stressful situation, you don’t always remember what you should be doing in place of eating.
3. Keep a journal or list of things that stress you out and how you hope to combat them. It’s important to SEE where the stress is coming from and know what your battle plan is. Read about how keeping a food journal may help here.
4. Write down some ways in which you could better deal with your stress which don’t involve food. Be realistic. A day at the spa will always soothe stress, but it’s not always going to be in your budget.
5. Practice. Put your new responses into effect BEFORE you are under stress.
6. Identify what types of food you tend to use when stressed and be sure to keep some healthy versions in your fridge or freezer. You may be able to substitute unhealthy ingredients in your favorite recipes with more healthy ones. Check out these Top 5 Ingredient Substitutions.
Planning your response to stress so that it doesn’t include bad eating habits is admittedly not easy. But with a little effort, it can be done.