One of the most common weight loss obstacles I hear from clients is how to stop stress eating. dihydrocodeine Their eating can be going really well for a period until a challenging situation sends them head first into the ice-cream, chips or chocolate.
Turning to food through difficult times may help relieve and soothe us temporarily, but the effect is only fleeting. When the food is gone, the stressor is still there, because the food is just a Band-Aid. In the long term, stress eating actually doubles our stress, because we gain unwanted weight.
There Is a Way Out.
Untangling yourself from the stress eating habit is possible. The important thing to figure out is what you are going to do instead of eat, when you feel stressed. Some ideas are walking, window shopping, call a friend or clean your closet. So often, the reach for cookies is automatic, so we need to learn to PAUSE and think before we act. When you pause and perform a mind/body scan, you train yourself to identify what is making you anxious and sit with the feeling, before you reach mindlessly for food. Truth is, turning to the food doesn’t serve us in the long term, so we need to build resilience.
Here are 5 ways to stop stress eating
1.Identify the stressor and put it into perspective. Stop dramatizing, because we add to the negative impact of stressful situations by blowing them up in our mind. Ask yourself “What’s the worst that could happen?” and “Will this matter to me one week, month or year from now?”
2.Don’t take it personally. Criticisms and insults from other people are hard to swallow. It’s important to remember that those words belong to the person who spoke them, so don’t let them penetrate. Others are dealing with stresses in their lives too, and some people do not have the “people skills” to talk in a more compassionate way. Often their words are a reflection of how they feel about themselves, so let it go and move on.
3.Stay in the present. Worrying about the past or the future robs you of the present. Ask yourself “What can I realistically do to change this situation?” If there’s a small step you can take, take it, otherwise, stop stressing and redirect your energy towards a positive activity, such as walking, reading or meditation.
4.Shift out of negative response patterns quickly. Stress eating is an automatic response, so substitute a healthier habit, as soon as you can. For example, if you stress eat in the car on the way home from work, substitute the usual food for a big bottle of water, an apple and a relaxation CD.
5.Recharge and replenish yourself. Stress eating is an attempt to look after yourself; you can’t stop it as long as you think you need it. Stopping requires support. Schedule that massage, a yoga class, hang around positive people and take a wide berth from those people who stress you out. Find real ways to relax every day.
Managing your stress takes conscious effort, but working on being calm in all situations can have an amazing impact on your ability to manage turbulent emotions without food. If you do stress eat, don’t miss the lesson. Retrace your steps and figure out what you can do differently next time.