4 Steps to Curb Stress Eating
During stressful times, it's easy to turn to food to try to comfort ourselves. As I've been experiencing the urge to stress eat during a particularly crazy time, I've researched how to avoid it. Here's what I've found:
When we're stressed, we often reach for sugary, fatty, or high carbohydrate foods.
The "comfort sensation" we feel from these foods lasts about 20 minutes, and then we're left craving more.
Stress eating often leads to more stress because we know we're not coping in a healthy way and may start gaining unnecessary weight.
Exercise, meditation, and reaching out for support are all effective ways to counteract the urge to stress eat.
"Mindful eating may not only prevent weight gain, but it may also address problematic eating behaviors such as binge and emotional eating, as well as eating as a response to external cues." - Dr. Erin Nitschke. You can read more about mindful eating here.
Here is the system I am trying to curb stress eating. By putting some time between the initial "I want to eat" feeling and my response, I am hoping to make healthier, more mindful choices. 1. Set the timer for 10 minutes. 2. Drink a glass of water. 3. After 10 minutes is up, re-evaluate whether I'm truly hungry or not. 4. If I am legitimately hungry, I will aim for a healthy choice.