Perhaps you’re in the very busy period of the year. You have 20 unread messages on your mobile phone, tones of paperwork to work on, plus your boss just asked for next week’s report today. But what do you do when faced with such a situation? You’ll probably head to the kitchen and swallow leftover donuts to relieve stress, right? And probably that’s going to be your diet for as long as you continue to experience stress.
Majority of us experience stress eating and we just don’t know how to put a stop on this vicious cycle of stress-induced eating. But here’s the good news; Susan Albers (Huffington blogger and author of ”Eat. Q”) tackles the issue of how to stop stress eating/emotional eating.
She says, ”majority of us experience stress eating quite often, and especially workers are more prone to stress eating than anybody else. They burn out at work and when they come home, they are more likely to head to the fridge and consequently gain weight.” However, Albers adds that there’s need to have strategies, calm down and soothe yourself in such situations. These are times when willpower alone isn’t enough, you need real help.
Some Tips to Help you when you Feel Overwhelmed
Eat citrus fruits to satisfy your cravings for sugar
When you’re in need of a quick sugar fix, take some mandarin oranges. At 50 calories only, mandarin oranges will sweeten your mouth and give you something else to do. Albers says peeling the fruit and smelling the sweet citrus scent can have a meditative effect on you, and this will calm you down. Furthermore, the fruit is rich in vitamin C, an element that you’ll need to strengthen your immune system when you’re feeling low.
If you must crunch a few snacks, go for pistachios because they are healthy, compared to chips and the rest. Choose the lowest calories pistachios which are rich in healthy fats and fiber(they also regulate your blood sugar). That’s the only way to avoid the painful sugar spike and drop that normally occurs when you eat something sweet and fatty.
Studies show that red colors send strong messages to the brain. Try serving food in red plates, or put a red-colored container inside the fridge and see the magic. If that’s not enough to stop you from stress-induced eating, at least it will always remind you of your bad habit each time you open the fridge.
Help yourself with the wrong hand
If you’re left-handed, try eating with your right hand. Trying to eat with the wrong hand will slow down your progress of eating food, plus it will make you very much aware of the food you’re eating. Realize that this is a vital part of good eating habits. This is one trick that works for anyone trying to learn how to stop stress eating.
Stressful situations will cause your stress hormone, cortisol to rise, which can potentially cause weight gain. The key is to make sure that cortisol levels are down at all times. To achieve that, take some black tea (research shows that black tea brings cortisol levels down). And please, stop multitasking, close that email for the first time and calm down.
Above everything else, mindfulness is very important. Be aware when using food to comfort or soothe yourself. In fact, many weight problems today are as a result of stress-induced eating. So if you want to lose those pounds, learn how to stop stress eating first before hitting the gym, and you’ll see the results.
Related article: Addicted to Food? Three Ways to Break the Cycle of Food Addiction