Stress eating or emotional eating is a frequent topic between my coaching clients, training clients, class students and myself. Most adults, women in particular are dealing with stress in their daily life, coupled along with some daily habits in our routines that fuel this problem!
The first thing to identify in regards to stress eating is your food habits and food cravings. Are you eating more at certain times of day or around certain people? Are you choosing comfort foods around regular scheduled meals? Is healthy food what you are thinking about (true hunger) or is it more about the emotional “filling up” at certain times (lots of thought about certain food). Once you can identify these times, foods and habits that you want to change it is time to get “mindful” of all of these factors!
If you can be mindful, or aware of your tough times, tough foods and tough feelings then you can change the scenario completely. DECIDE to be aware of filling your BELLY when needed (on a schedule preferably) vs. filling an emotional need. Focus on actual hunger and not a certain salty or sugary food that is a craving for fatigue, stress or a habitual timed event (ie: the late night snack, uh oh!!). Keep foods on a schedule that you know you body needs, instead of emotional wants. When we feed feelings instead of our bodies, we store excess food that otherwise we don’t need typically.
Some practical tips:
identify your triggers (write it down if that helps you to see it)
adjust daily routine/habits so they are not about food
learn your cues and know your weak times to fill with alternatives
set yourself up for success with food prep and healthy choices
eat slowly and on a schedule
“take 5” before caving into that craving/sometimes it is thirst or fatigue!
enjoy relaxation and favored activities over food
be confident with social influences, choose what is best for YOU.
At the end of the day, do not beat yourself up. Focus on your healthful journey and what comes next. Love your body and it will love you back.