Today I will be sharing 12 useful ways to stop stress related binge eating habits in their tracks. Everyone must eat to stay healthy and survive. However, sometimes the pleasure we get from certain food choices can lead to bad eating habits, especially if we are under immense stress and need to ease our emotions.
Stress related binge eating habits is something that many people struggle with and it is certainly not uncommon. Most of us enjoy food and it comes as no surprise that food is a welcome escape from things that make us feel overwhelmed. Millions of people find comfort in food. Here are 12 ways to help you keep those stress related binge eating habits at bay.
12 Ways to Stop Stress Related Binge Eating Habits in Their Tracks
Acknowledge What is Happening
Some people lose their appetite when they are under immense stress, while other use comfort food as a distraction when things go sideways. Because the effect is not permanent, you may find yourself eating even when you are not hungry. Sometimes you do it without realizing it. This can lead to unhealthy choices. Acknowledge what is happening and be vigilant about what you are eating and the reason behind it.
Start a Food Diary
Start a food diary and write down everything that you are eating throughout the day. Also write down the times and where you were. A food diary is an excellent way of keeping track of your eating patterns and habits. Do you tend to snack between meals? Is food a constant cohort? You will start noticing how unhealthy your healthy your food habits are. It will also help you with setting goals that could really help with resolving the issue.
Make Sure if You are Really Hungry
If you just had a large meal and you are still grasping for snacks, ask yourself if you are really hungry or if your emotions are causing these cravings. You might want to distract yourself with something else until the urge passes. You can call a friend or go for a brisk walk outside. You can also have a glass of water. Your body might be signalling you that you are dehydrated.
Do Not Hesitate to Get The Support You Need
Be sure to lean on friends or family to keep you motivated and positive, and to help you stay focused during times of stress. This can really help you with sticking to a healthier lifestyle. Research have shown that individuals with high-stress jobs enjoy better mental health when they have a strong support network.
Stay Focused on Your Eating Goals
Avoid being too hung up on issues like calorie counts, watching the scale, and meal planning. It can only make you lose track of your lifestyle changes and your goals. Try new foods or fresh ways of preparing some of your favourite foods.
For instance, you can still have that lasagne, but replace pasta with something healthier like zucchini and replace the red meat with turkey or chicken. Don’t forget to reward you every now and again when you have reached a main goal.
Avoid Tempting Yourself
Take away the urge to snack on fatty or sugar foods by not keeping them in your home. Stick to a grocery list with only healthy food choices. Never visit the grocery store on an empty stomach or when you are feeling emotional.
Start Living Healthier Today
Keep an arsenal of healthy snacks on hand for those in-between-meals snacking. Keep things like low-fat yogurt dip, veggies, unbuttered popcorn, bran muffins, fruit, etc.
Give Yourself a Break
If you have given in to a craving, avoid obsessing about your failure, and rather see it as a learning opportunity. Do not let one or two mishaps create more stress. Rather focus on your end goal and keep working on breaking your stress related binge eating habits.
If you have a craving for pizza, try using healthier ingredients like veggies and partially skimmed mozzarella cheese on pita bread. Instead of eating tacos, rather make a taco salad with tomatoes, beans, cheese, and hot sauce.
If you really must give in to that chocolate craving, try eating only a few blocks instead of the whole slab, and eat dark chocolate instead. You can still reward yourself sometimes with your favourite foods but try to restrict your portions and try not to derail your eating plan.
When you feel a craving come on, give some relaxation techniques like mindful meditation a try to ease stress and fight off the urge that triggers stress binge eating. Go to a quiet place and focus on your breathing and calm your thoughts. Do not judge your feelings. You are only human. It is natural to have off days. When you are having one of those days, try to observe your thoughts and retain your focus through deep breathing.
A solid workout will help your body to generate chemicals known as endorphins that interact with the brain. This helps to calm you down and relax you. You can try tai chi or yoga which are both low-impact exercise types that work up a good sweat.
Talk to Someone
Do not feel ashamed about your eating habits. You are not alone in this. Speak to a mental health therapist or doctor. They can offer helpful tips or offer therapy to help you with identifying the root cause of your stress. They can also provide you with ideas on how to work out a healthier meal plan and how to implement healthier goals.
I hope that my post on how to stop stress related binge eating habits have been of some use to you and have given you some food for the soul. “Pun intended”. Remember not to be too hard on yourself. If you have given in to that urge to snack, learn from your mistake and just get back on track with your healthier eating plan.
Sending you lots of light, healthy thoughts, and food inspiration.