Updated: Mar 24, 2019
Are you one of the MANY?
Many people tend to “stress eat” at this time of year (or any time of year, for that matter) due to high demands of schedule, deadlines, financial obligations, etc.
Some refer to it as “emotional eating”. No matter what you call it or what time of year you do it, you can beat it!
Stress eating typically happens as a response mechanism to mental pressures, boredom, loneliness or other emotions. This type of eating is what can cause added pounds to show up on your scale without even realizing because most do this unaware of the effects it will have. There are ways to win over this battle but the first step is becoming aware.
A famous recovery group has long said, “Admitting is half the battle!” Oh, how true that is. If you are made aware and then admit the problem, you can take action to overcome. The first way to identify is by keeping a journal of every bite you take. By writing what you put into your mouth, you can make notes as to “why” you ate what you did. You will soon discover when you eat because your body needs nourishment as opposed to eating just because ‘it is there’ or because it feels good. Once you have identified the times of stress eating, the next step is to find something to replace it. Most stress or emotional eating is a form of finding comfort. Find other things to do that will replace those times of needing comfort.
Here are just a few suggestions…
Read – when you feel the urge to grab something to eat when you really aren’t hungry or it isn’t time to eat, then correlate that urge with picking up a book to read. Emotional, stress, comfort eating is all about the mind. Make a mental decision to find comfort in other areas and do things to keep your mind busy.
Walk – this is a good one. When tempted to stress eat, go for a walk. This can be outdoors if the weather permits or on a treadmill. If neither of these are available, walk “laps” around your home. Not only will you be making a mental connection with the stress or emotion to something other than food but you will also be burning calories at the same time.
Puzzles – Pick up the art of Sudoku crosswords or any other type of puzzle that will keep your mind working and thinking on other things besides food.
Exercise – just like walking, this can have double benefits. This could be in any form! Keep a pair of hand weights or resistance tubes around to use during these times.
Begin something you have always wanted to do but never had time – such as crocheting, knitting, drawing, painting, etc. This can be a good excuse to not put those things off any longer.
In summary, to beat stress you must first become aware and identify. Next admit and find a replacement that will provide comfort. By making these few adjustments, not only will you beat the stress but you will also win the battle!