What To Do About Stress Eating
To ensure food is not the answer to every stressful situation:
- Play some MENTAL GAMES
Remember when your mom told you to count to ten…it worked, didn’t it? The same is true here. Reactions are knee-jerk reflexes, and they can often make a stressful situation worse. I mean reactions like going straight to the fridge after a blowup at work or after fighting with your kids.Remember, we may not have control over what happens, but we do have control over our reactions and how we respond to things. Just close your eyes, breathe, count to 10, and ask yourself productive questions like what would the best version of me do in this situation? You could also visualize someone you look up to and think about how they might come up with a response. This can help you to resolve a situation instead of escalating it or ignoring it with food.
- Let’s get PHYSICAL
Stress is emotional but it does create physical energy. Find a conduit for it! It could be kickboxing, cross-fit, yoga, or dancing – all of which are great ways to use and release that energy. Sometimes, especially if you’re traveling or without access to a gym, taking it out on a pillow, yelling somewhere secluded, or a just good hard cry is what the doctor ordered.Stress is often perpetuated by the pent up emotions we are feeling due to circumstances we cannot control, and we can turn to food to medicate those emotions. Release them physically instead. This is one of my personal favorite ways of dealing with stress.
- I get to vent or complain ONE TIME.
This strategy is one that I use personally, so that I don’t accidentally perpetuate stress or prolong it. I follow this simple rule: I pick a friend instead of food, call them up, and I vent or complain about whatever is stressing me out. The catch? It’s only ONE TIME, to ONE friend!Once it’s out, I cannot complain about it again. Allowing myself to go back and focus on what’s gone wrong gives it unnecessary energy and drags it out.
- Find Solutions
This can be the same friend you vented to, another friend, or a coach. More often than not, I talk to my husband about possible solutions! He’s good with those.It feels good to hear good advice or suggestions to whatever problem is stressing me out to dissipate the situation & get rid of negative emotions. Suddenly, I’m taking steps forward and I don’t need food as a coping mechanism because I’m taking back that energy & winning at life.