Are You Stressed Out by Your Stress-Eating Habit? Here’s What to Do About It
If you didn’t already know, stress eating is really a thing. If we’re being honest, most of us, or probably all of us, have had to deal with this at one point in our lives. It could be that your day is spiraling and you have no control over it, and you find yourself reaching out for whatever junk food you can lay your hands on.
Why is it that we always go for junk? You never see a stress eater stuff themselves up with fresh groceries or fruits. Well, that’s a story for another day. For now, let’s focus on just how common reaching for food is when your emotions are all over the place, even when you’re not really hungry.
The thing is, it’s no fun being stressed. What food does is provide comfort and even pleasure, two of the things we crave the most during such a time. Unfortunately, overdoing it does us more harm than good, no wonder stress eating has grown to be such a menace.
However, Wendy Lopez, a certified dietitian and contributor at SELF says that it doesn’t have to be. She admits that there are times when she’s sat down with lots of ice cream when her day has been as bad as it could get, saying that tough times are normal in life.
All the same, the nutritionists says that there’s a huge difference between the occasional stress feeder and the consistent one. When stress eating is an individual’s sole coping mechanism that’s when the issues kick in.
So, what does Lopez recommend you do? If you are already battling the problematic feeding disorder, the dietitian has a list of steps you can take to be done with the menace once and for all. For starters, she recommends eating enough and keeping yourself full for the entire day. If you’re wondering how this will help, hold your horses.
As she explains it, a stress feeder has to avoid being hungry at all costs. Failure to do so is going down a slippery slope because as soon as you’re in a stressful situation while also being hungry, you will most definitely feed past the point of being full, making yourself uncomfortable while at it.
To ensure that you are well fed throughout the day, Lopez recommends at least three significant meals daily, or breaking them down to multiple small ones. And she means healthy food – a balanced diet that combines protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber.
Create a Toolbox
Once you get to do that, the next step is creating a toolbox that will help you cope with the stressful times. What goes into the box is entirely up to you, but Lopez insists that whatever goes in should help you reach a resolution for your problem, shouldn’t make you numb your feelings, and should make you feel better when it comes into play.
Make a list of things such as the person to call, a movie to watch, a working out routine to carry out, do some yoga – you get the idea, don’t you?
Finally, and this could be the most important of them all, admit to yourself that although you may follow the first two steps to the letter, they may not perfectly work all the time. All this is a process, and you have to give yourself time to adjust.
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