Stop The Stress Eating Cycle With These 4 Simple Tips
Do you suffer from stress eating?
Let me rephrase that – don’t we all? Every time I am even a little bit stressed, do you want to know the first thing I do?
Yup. I take a peek in the fridge.
I whip out the ice cream. Sometimes, it’s popcorn.
It doesn’t really matter exactly what it is… because I’m only eating to help with my stress!SPECIAL: New Research Reveals How to Get Your Brain to Tell Your Body to Burn More Fat
With my current lifestyle, this is a big problem because I’m kind of always stressed! Isn’t everyone? (If not, please let me know and I would love to meet you.)
So…perhaps the ultimate question: How do you stop stress eating?!
Why Do You Stress Eat?
The first good news is that this happens to almost everyone. It’s such a bad habit for me that sometimes I don’t even realize that it’s happening!
Practically everyone I know has a bit of a stress eating habit, too. I mean, who doesn’t want the chocolate chunk ice cream after a particularly bad and nerve-wracking day?
The second good news is that stress eating actually DOES make you feel better… so it’s not like we are all just doing something crazy that doesn’t even help.
(Okay, disclaimer: this doesn’t mean that stress eating is GOOD for you.) But, it’s nice to know that you’re doing something that isn’t completely pointless.SPECIAL: These 3 Delicious Smoothie Recipes Are Specially Designed To Burn Off More Fat… So You Lose More Weight
Research shows that food can make people feel better. Certain foods decrease your threat response system, which lowers how alert you are to stress.
This doesn’t mean you should stress eat!! Stress eating is bad because it builds a habit that is essentially just working to dull the senses.
It isn’t fixing the stress. It’s literally just decreasing it for a bit.
Also, stress eating usually means you are eating unhealthy foods like chips, candy, or popcorn.
The more you do that, the more it becomes a habit… and the more you turn to a bad lifestyle in order to try to help with the chronic stress of everyday life. Plus, since your senses are only lowered to stress when you eat the junk food, it’s not even really helping your stress!
Let’s take it a step further: you stress eat because of a bad day at work. Then, you feel a little bit better.
Later, however, you start getting stressed because you ate bad food. It’s a vicious cycle!
How do you stop it?!
How To Stop Stress Eating
The biggest thing is recognizing that a lot of stress eating comes from the mind. This may seem difficult to overcome, because it’s all about the brain, but it’s definitely possible.
Following some of these ideas will really help with stress eating. I’ve spent years working on this, and I can tell you that practice makes perfect. Working on your brain will do wonders!
1) Be mindful.
Your brain is a muscle, which means it needs exercise.
Practice mindfulness in your everyday life. This can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths when you’re in an extra stressful situation.TRENDING: Science Reveals Easy, No-Workout Ways to Lose Weight… While You Snooze!
I’m a big fan of practicing mindfulness through meditation. The more you work on this, the easier it becomes to immediately snap into a less stressful state of mind.
2) Make intentional decisions.
Before you grab those cookies, stop and think. Even that few seconds-long pause can help snap you out of the temptation of stress eating.
Try to ask yourself if you really need this food. Will you feel guilty afterwards? Do you even really want it?
If you ask yourselves questions like this before diving into the junk food, it can help you realize what instances of eating are actually stress eating.
3) Avoid situations that will tempt you.
The biggest way I do this is by not having a lot of junk food at home. The less it’s available to me, the less I will eat it.
For me, I can get stressed at any time of the day. When I’m home and get stressed out, it’s much harder for me to grab junk food and chow down because I just don’t have that much!
And, I don’t end up going out and getting junk food because by that time… I have stopped and thought about if I really need the food – and realized I don’t! (This goes back to an earlier tip.)
4) Find other ways to relieve stress.
Perhaps the best way I have found to de-stress is by doing other things that are healthier for me.BRAND NEW: These Delicious Desserts Can Help You Burn Fat & Lose Weight
Am I feeling extra stressed? Sometimes, it’s as simple as lighting candles and watching Netflix. I like to go for runs, too, which de-stress me.
Another option is to just get out of the house and go for a walk. Try to figure out a few different, healthier ways that relieve the stress.
Then, instead of turning to junk food, turn to those new habits to de-stress. Not only will you avoid eating poorly, but you’ll actually be living a healthier lifestyle overall, too.
So, stress eating happens to almost everyone. The great thing is that it’s not an impossible habit to break. There are so many simple, small things you can do in your everyday life to break this annoying little habit.
Stress is always going to be there, but stress eating doesn’t have to be!
How To Enjoy Healthy, Guilt-Free Indulgences While Losing Weight
Like I mentioned, “making intentional food decisions” is one of the best ways to avoid stress eating.
If you read that and grumbled, “Oh great, that means I get to ‘choose’ kale for the rest of the week…” don’t worry.
I wouldn’t do that to you.
Successful eating habits need to be enjoyable. I mean, is a life without snacks even a life worth living?
Fortunately, there are a lot of really healthy, good-for-you foods… that are shockingly delicious.
For example… take these 7 decadent desserts.
I dare you to even notice the difference.
They look like something you’d find on the dessert menu at Cheesecake Factory (probably because one of them is cheesecake! lol)…
But each one has been specially formulated with the help of a well-known doctor’s specific substitutions… to ensure that they’re significantly better for you than normal desserts…
While still being delicious… and something you can really “indulge” in.
So you’ll still get that emotional comfort you normally feel while stress eating something decadent… but without any of the guilt!