Life can start to pile on stress regardless of the time of year. You never know what can happen which could bring on stress and emotional anxiety. Whether it’s unexpectedly getting into a car accident or taking on a seemingly impossible deadline for work, a lot of people turn to food as a source of comfort.
Known as emotional eating, it’s a way of suppressing and soothing negative feelings. Since food we love triggers our pleasure sensors, it can be a temporary fix for feeling better.
However, food isn’t the answer. Emotional eating leads to feelings of self-loathing, weight gain, and even conditions like diabetes. Here are some of the best tips for avoiding emotional eating.
Distract Yourself With Activity
If you feel the urge to reach for an entire bag of chips hop on your bike or start dancing around the room. Try to turn towards being physical rather than eating. You will likely feel much less stressed after exerting energy rather than eating.
Try it a few times, and you’ll find that you may even start to get hooked. Turning to fitness for comfort when feeling emotionally unstable is a great habit. As with most things, it’s all about moderation.
Keep Your Brain Busy
Try to stay busy throughout the day by staying engaged in an activity. When your brain is idle, it can often convince you that you’re hungry when you’re not.
If you have free time, do something that you love which keeps your brain occupied. You’ll find that you are much less tempted to mindlessly snack.
Eat on a Schedule
Have your meals at the same time every day. When your body starts to get into a rhythm, you’ll be less likely to overeat. Try to eat balanced meals with no snacking in between. Opt for whole grains, fruits, and leafy green vegetables, and limit the amount of sweets you eat.
If you start to get intense cravings for the foods you love, allow yourself a very small amount if you must but remember it’s a treat, not a necessity.
Treat Yourself Once In a While!
It’s still ok to enjoy yourself sometimes! The trick is to enjoy the foods you love because you love them, not because you feel stressed. It’s essential to create a new relationship with your favorite foods so that you associate them with being what they are, simply food, rather than the solution for our feelings.
Avoid keeping your favorite comfort foods in the house so that you’ll be less tempted to eat them in a moment of emotion. Instead, try to eat them outside of the home when you treat yourself to a meal in a restaurant or special occasion.