how to stop stress eating

How To Stop Stress Eating

How to Stop Stress Eating

So you’ve noticed that you have a tendency to turn to food when you get stressed…

One moment you’re not thinking about food at all, but then you get hit with a wave of different “to-dos” or screaming toddlers and all of a sudden all you can think about is food. 

This can be extremely frustrating and it can feel like this habit is unshakable.

Don’t worry though, I got you. 

In this quick read you’ll learn how to stop stress eating for good.

What Causes Stress Eating

Stress eating

Stress eating occurs from your conditioned response to stress.

A Russian nobel prize winning scientist, Ivan Pavlov, developed a theory that has to do with what's known today as behavioural psychology

The theory has to do with the brain's natural tendency to be conditioned to a response(eating) when it’s hit with a specific or general stimulus (stress).

This is exactly what's happening when you are turning to food(response) once you are hit with the stimulus (stress). 

You can beat stress eating by interrupting your response to the stimulus with a new response. 

Examples could be:

Healthier Activity Choices

  • Going for a walk
  • Going for a run 
  • Taking a certain number of breathes
  • Drinking a glass of water 
  • Exercise
  • Stretching

Healthier Food Choices

*Note: Be mindful of moderation and be sure to stay aware of whether or not, whatever food you choose isn’t going to bring you out of your (deficit range), if your goal is weight loss.

The point is to turn to whatever you would rather turn to instead of just eating random unhealthily stuff. 

If you can develop the habit of sensing when the wave of stress hits you, you can respond with a more mindful and beneficial choice.

How to Stop Stress Eating At Work

How to stop stress eating at work

Startup Stock Photos

If you find that you stress eat at work, consider what options apply best to that setting. 

For example:

  •  If you can’t leave to take a walk, choose breathing or an exercise like squats or pushups.
  • If you’re at work and your habit is eating something that you know doesn’t support you best, bring an alternate food source. 

Once you decide what you want to do in the future, take a moment and mentally prepare yourself for that moment of stress. 

How to Identify When You're Stressed

How to identify when your stressed

Sometimes you might get so caught up in what you’re doing, that you don’t even realize you're stressed. 

You might come to your senses after you’ve already indulged in the “not so great” choice. 

If that’s you, it will help to work on your ability to identify when you’re stressed. 

Common symptoms of stress:

  • Tension 
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Poor Posture
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Moodiness

If you can learn to notice when these symptoms show up, you can apply/deploy/act on your NEW response to the stress

How to stop stress eating at home | Create the environment

How to stop stress eating at home

If you find yourself stress eating at home, create the best environment for yourself by having your food choices ready. 

If you’re at home stressed and you’ve conditioned yourself to turn to the sugar or highly processed stuff such as

  • Any food that’s processed is usually frozen, canned, dried, baked, or pasteurized.

  • The most highly processed foods, however, will contain a lot of extra sugar, salt, oil, and calories.

  • Preservatives/Additives: dextrose, maltose, trans fats, and hydrogenated oil 

Replacing those choices with healthier alternatives will make your life easier. 

Preparation Is Key

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”

Along with creating and setting up your outer environment it’s just as important to pay close attention to your inner environment to develop the consistency that’s needed. 

The simple act of setting the intention to follow through with the action while staying mindful when you feel the stress, gives power to the response you intend to follow it up with. 

This means from the moment you wake up, have the intention to stay aware during the moments where you begin to feel those symptoms mentioned above. 

Once you sense those symptoms showing up, follow it up with the new habit you’re trying to create. 

Try to Keep In Mind

How to stop stress eating 2

In those moments when stress is triggered, our reactions are a choice.

While it doesn’t always feel like a “choice”...

 At the root of the issue it’s a choice. 

You have the ability to choose how you react to any given experience.

Why not Choose a reaction that supports what you’re trying to do.

When it comes to switching from a negative/unhealthy relationship with food to a positive/healthy relationship with food it’s all about preparing your environment,  building habits and developing consistency.

Hope this helps you out! 

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