Every person has a unique way of relieving his or her stress. Meditation, hiking, playing sports, reading – these are all healthy and relaxing ways to reduce stress levels. Some people seek temporary comfort in food through a process known as “stress eating.” This can lead to food addiction and unwanted weight gain.
The tips below will help you control stress eating cravings so you can avoid its side effects.
Drink Water Instead Of Eating
When you get the urge to eat outside of mealtimes, drink water instead. This will fill you up and make you feel less hungry. Water is good for your body, and any food that enters your mouth afterward will absorb some of that water in your stomach. In other words, drinking water before you eat will help you eat less when the time comes.
Find Other Ways To Reduce Stress
Instead of turning to food for stress relief, find other ways to cope with the chaos. If you are overwhelmed by your workload, tell your boss that you have too much on your plate. If you aren’t getting the help you need around the house, talk to your spouse about re-adjusting your responsibilities. Go for a walk, take a yoga class, go on vacation – do what you need to do to keep your stress at a manageable level. After all, there is no stress eating if there is no stress.
Only Eat When You’re Hungry
In many cases, a person will stress eat even when they aren’t hungry. If you get overwhelmed at work, you may reach for a bag of chips without actually thinking about your stomach. Listen to your tummy, not your brain, when it comes to scheduling your eating times. If you only eat when you’re hungry, you won’t have to worry about gaining unexpected weight.
Limit Your Temptations
If you don’t want to munch on cookies all afternoon, don’t keep them in your office. If you spend most of your time at home, rid your shelves of tempting snacks. You can still keep fruit and vegetables on hand, but limit the junk food as much as possible. That way, whatever you end up stress eating won’t go straight to your waist.
Work with a food addiction counselor to learn other ways to control your eating habits, and your self-esteem is sure to skyrocket.