It’s no surprise that with all the economic tension many people are relieving stress by over eating or eating when they really aren’t hungry. Stress eating is a common issue when it comes to weight management, so here are 5 ways to help you avoid the trap of eating out of anxiety and worry:
- Shift perspective. Stress eating is a habit not a force beyond your control, and habits can be broken or converted into healthier habits. You are in the driver’s seat of your actions. Your inner stress monster is just a really loud back seat driver. You have the power to steer, so start focusing on where you want to go which is a healthier, fitter place.
- Give yourself better food options. If you just have to munch on something, then give yourself healthier choices. It's also better to give yourself choices versus saying no all together because deprivation will only add to the already existing anxiety filled feelings. For example, if you’re in the mood for something crunchy reach for jicama instead of chips. Nosh on an organic food bar instead of a candy bar. Nibble on some turkey or chicken pieces instead of creme filled cookies. The best food options are proteins, fruits, and veggies or over carbs with high fat, sugar, and salt.
- Do not look at or watch the news with a bag or plate of empty calorie foods in hand. This is just asking for mindless eating and an over eating disaster. The news has a way of instantaneously making people feel overwrought, edgy, and nerve racked, and hello pizza and chocolate cupcake city, here we come. If you can avoid the news for a day or two, do it. Take in the news only in small doses, or watch the news at the gym while you’re on the treadmill or elliptical where you can burn off the worries.
- When you feel the jitters and anxiety build up, take a break and go move, exercise, or workout to burn the stress off. Just move. Sitting or stagnating in anti-motion is just adding fuel to your stress fire making you more inclined to put your hand in that bag of chips or cookies. Moving will not only get you physically out of your space for a moment and help you release that tension; it will get your head out of the focus on lack.
- Point your focus on what you do have (abundance) instead of what you don’t have or lost (lack). Right now, it’s very easy to only see doom & gloom, but for every lack thing you see, there is an equally abundant thing to look at. When you start basking in all the abundance you do have, it will quickly dissipate those intense stress feelings thus making you feel less prone to going to the kitchen. Go hug your loved ones instead, and feed your heart and soul.
Remember, you're not alone in the challenge of avoiding stress eating. Perhaps, even just talking with your loved ones or friends can help you feel much brighter about things. Also, put your creative hat on and think of other ways to get you excited about the future and where you are today. I bet you'll end up having a great deal of fun or at least having something cool to look forward to!