Is stress eating a thing? Your thing? This is an issue I run into with almost all of my clients.
It is a pretty common problem, especially when faced with stressful situations. Is it the Corona Virus? Your finances? Your boss? Your partner or your kids? So many things and people can cause stress in our lives and for many …. Overeating and/or indulging on all the wrong foods turns out to be the coping mechanism.
Do not feel bad if your instinct has been to turn to food to make yourself feel better. You’re not alone.
Food tends to somehow make you feel better and bring you comfort when you need it most. Eating foods that taste good has a positive impact on your dopamine levels - your feel-good hormones in the brain. This activates your reward system and thus in a way negates the negativity associated with your current stressors.
Ever heard of food porn? Lol …. Yep food just has that strong of an impact at least when it is the foods you absolutely LOVE. So …. You are reading this and it sounds very much like you? Your next question …. What can I do to avoid stress eating?
I GOT YOU.
Here are 4 tips to cut out the stress eating ASAP
1️⃣Pay attention to your physical cues - physical hunger makes you crave a wide variety of foods while emotional hunger has you craving 1 or 2 things in particular. Physical hunger comes naturally because your body is alerting you …. Just like your car beeps when your tank is getting low! Hello stop at the gas station and fill me up. Emotional hunger is abrupt and sudden and let’s be frank you aren’t hungry.
2️⃣Distraction time! Step away from the pantry, close the fridge NOW…. write in a journal, pick up a book, go for a walk, drop and give me 50 pushups LOL …. Until that feeling goes away
3️⃣Do not eat foods out of their original package - Pre-portion your snacks and eat all of your snacks and meals in/on your own dishes … this truly helps a ton with portion control. Thus avoiding binge eating and overindulging.
4️⃣Swap out your worst snacks - If you don’t have a giant bag of greasy chips at your fingertips, you can’t eat the whole bag. That’s good because overeating processed snacks can raise your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Which then leads to additional fat in your midsection. If you need a salty snack, stock popcorn instead. You’ll get the whole grains that are one important source of the feel-good hormone serotonin.