In times of stress and depression, food is a form of temporary but instant gratification. It allows you to feel fulfilled on the spot, but unfortunately, with continuous recurrence, it leads to frightening results in the long run. Thus, if you are trying to shed a few pounds and are aware of the fact that you are prone to stress eating, it’s time to take action! Avoid doing harm to your own body and eliminate the problem before it even makes itself known.
1. Find Another Outlet for Your Stress Eating
The key to preventing stress eating altogether, whenever you feel emotionally worn out, is to channel your anxiety into something other than eating. Your job is to find something that works for you. It can be completely out of the ordinary as long as it takes your mind off things and calms your nerves. Do a crossword puzzle, knit a scarf, go for a jog or re-organize your closet!
2. Foster a Healthy Environment
Just because you are able to prevent one stress-eating incident doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to do it again. Therefore, the best thing to do is to foster a healthy environment around you, which means surrounding yourself with people whom you like and, of course, avoiding buying junk food altogether. There is no way you can stress eat when there is nothing to binge on.
3. Don’t Deprive Yourself of Food Cravings
To achieve balance in your diet, you must consume food in moderation instead of strictly cutting out your favorite cheat food from your diet for all eternity. If you are craving chocolate cake, go for it but know your limits on servings! This way you won’t deprive yourself of what you enjoy, and you'll be able to maintain a healthy diet.
4. Implement Healthy Habits into Your Lifestyle
If your mind and body are at peace, there are not many things that can drive you to emotional eating. Therefore, the only way to be proactive about this is to implement healthy habits into your lifestyle. Make exercising a part of your routine, set a goal for drinking a certain amount of water daily and squeeze in a little bit of ‘you’ time for some relaxation.
5. Take Pictures of What You Eat
The best way of controlling what you eat is to make yourself more conscious of what you have eaten and how much you have eaten. One way to do that is to take visual evidence of every meal you’ve had during the day. This way, instead of writing your meals down in a food diary, you’ll have a quicker way of monitoring your diet.
6. Find the Trigger and Avoid It
Of course, if you suspect that specific types of events in your life drive you to emotional eating, this is the time to pinpoint those triggers and do everything you can to avoid them. The hardest part is uncovering the underlying cause of your problem. Once you know that, you are pretty much set on a road to recovery.
7. Think Long Term
If, at this moment, you happen to be indulging in your favorite treat due to stress, stop and think of the consequences that might follow your actions. That cake, pizza or ice cream will last a few seconds in your mouth but take months or even years to get rid of from your hips. So ask yourself, is it really worth it?
Although comforting and consoling, stress eating is impulsive and mindless, and definitely not worth it!