It’s easy to fall into the trap of binge-eating your way out of a high-stress situation. Many people do it unknowingly.
Stress eating is a thing. A lot of the time, some people fall into stress eating patterns when they use food to help cope with stressful situations. It’s also known as emotional eating.
Whether you reach for a bag of chips when you’re feeling bored, or you down a candy bar after a tough day at the office, it’s considered stress eating or eating with your emotions. Without realizing, stress eating could ruin all the hard work you’ve put in in the martial arts gym.
The good thing is, your mind is stronger than you think. There’s a way to get over this, and it involves a few key tweaks to your lifestyle.
The truth of the matter is, eating the food we love makes us feel good. It’s just that sometimes, we tend to use food to soothe ourselves out of a funk. This creates an unhealthy relationship with food, where we keep going back to it as a form of escapism.
We’ve all had this problem at some point in our lives. Maybe we’re experiencing it now. It’s definitely a problem, but it’s also one that we can overcome.
Follow this list of simple advice, and it will help you curb your cravings, especially when you’re feeling stressed. Today, Evolve Daily shares four things you can try to stop yourself from stress eating.
1) Make an eating plan and stick to eat
One of the best ways to avoid emotional eating is by creating a meal plan for yourself and actually sticking to it. Pre-plan your meals for the week, what you’ll have and when. With this kind of structure, at the very least, you can identify stress eating triggers.
Stick to an eating schedule. Intermittent fasting comes to mind and is one of the best methods to lose weight quickly. It’s a great eating methodology for people who are on the go and constantly busy.
Also, try your best to cook your own meals. By preparing your own food, you control what goes into your body. Keep your food in reusable containers, ready to reheat when it’s time for your next meal. Give yourself some variety and mix it up a little bit. Don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous with your food so that you don’t get tired of it easily.
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Lastly, you can have your cheat days, but make it your choice. Cheat on your own terms, not when you’re stressed and your emotions are driving you to consume calories.
Take control of your eating habits and it will be easier to control yourself whenever the urge to binge-eat arises.
2) Don’t eat while you work
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It’s pretty self-explanatory. Just try to stay away from food while you’re working.
Nowadays, it’s office culture to have your meals right by your desk, shoveling food in your mouth while you’re working on documents and spreadsheets. But eating while working will cause you to overeat and take in more calories than you could be aware of.
It’s very hard to keep track of what goes into your body when your mind is fixated on work, so it’s best to skip food when you’re busy. And we’re not talking about sacrificing your lunchtime. Just try to do things one at a time.
If you’re working, work. If it’s time for lunch, shut the lid on your laptop, sit down, and enjoy your meal.
The majority of office people usually down anything within reach, not because they’re hungry, but just due to the stress they feel at work.
The very first thing you should be asking yourself when you’re trying to grab a snack is whether or not you’re actually hungry. If not, stop yourself immediately. Maybe have a glass of water to keep the unhealthy cravings at bay.
3) Allow yourself to feel the hunger
You’ll feel hungry during the day. Just accept that fact and embrace the hunger. Remind yourself that the feeling of hunger is your body working double-time to burn off those excess calories and stored fat in your body.
No one ever reached their weight loss goals on a full stomach. The fact of the matter is, you’ll need to lower your caloric intake in order to lose weight, and you’re going to feel hungry the majority of the time. It’s just reality.
That being said, you should also listen to what your body is telling you.
Determine whether you are actually hungry or just craving. If you’re feeling light-headed, then it would be good to get some food in your body. If all you’re feeling is a rumbling in your gut, it could just be a craving manifesting itself physically.
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You should always try to drink a glass of water first, whenever you think you’re hungry. This usually does the trick.
Strive to make better meal choices and food decisions, as part of your well-balanced diet. Feed yourself with quality fuel. Add more protein and fiber in your meals to make you feel more satiated.
Lastly, don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. We all fall off the wagon every once in a while, so don’t be too hard on yourself. In fact, making mistakes is essential to a successful diet and fitness plan.
4) Keep a food diary
In what is perhaps the most important point of all, keep track of what you’re putting in your body and when via a food diary. It will help you monitor your food and drink intake, count your calories, and make sure you’re only consuming what is necessary, and nothing in excess.
Keeping a food diary is also a great way to monitor your emotional state whenever you’re feeling hungry.
Jot down specific instances when you felt stressed and found yourself turning to food for comfort. Write down exactly how you were feeling, and how strong the urge to binge-eat was. This will help you become more aware of your mental state when it comes to controlling the urge to eat.
Write yourself short messages and reminders throughout the pages, to remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Each one of us has a distinct purpose for trying to be healthier. Sometimes though, we lose track of our way.
Finally, keep track of how many times you’ve beaten your own mind, and remind yourself how you won so you can do it again.
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