Thursday, 02 July 2015 00:00

The Best Ways to Stop Stress Eating

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Are you somebody who turns to food for all the wrong reasons? Do you find great comfort in food that you can’t often find in other aspects of your life? When life throws you curveballs do you immediately head to the kitchen?

If this all sounds familiar then there’s a good chance that you are a stress eater, and that you engage in a really unhealthy eating habit. Though stress eating is something that you may have lived with your entire life, there are great ways to stop it. This can ensure that you don’t fall prey to weight gain or health problems, and it can also help you to regain control over this area of your life.

There are some people who will say that when they feel stress they immediately shy away from food. These may be more the exception to the rule, for so many of us find comfort in the right foods. It’s a natural tendency but it can be very damaging to manage your stress through eating and not coping with the issues at hand. The first thing to do is to recognize that this is a problem for you so that you can move forward in the right way. You must have the desire to get ahold of this area of your life, and you must also recognize that if this goes on for too long that it can actually work against your health in the long term.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you just don’t know how to get control over your stress eating then it all starts by thinking through the problem in advance. There are common triggers or problem areas, and once you identify them you can work through them with once and for all. 

Find healthy outlets to use for stress management: We all feel stress and you are never going to get rid of it altogether. It’s simply a matter of learning how to stay ahead of that stress and manage the unavoidable. Though there are some problem areas that you may avoid, you will always experience some stress. Turning to something like exercise, meditation, or even visualization will serve as healthy outlets that help you to cope with what the problem is and work through it in an effective manner.

Don’t put yourself in the way of your greatest temptations: You know that there are instances where stress comes up and you want to learn how to manage them. In the same spirit you also don’t want to put yourself face to face with temptations either. If you know that you may have a particularly stressful day then a great way to stay ahead of stress eating is to stay away from that candy dish or even to take another way home so you don’t pass the ice cream store. You know what causes you to give into temptation, so learn to manage this and avoid the common traps that cause you so much trouble.

Take a step back and gain perspective on the situation before turning to food: It sounds really obvious, though you may have to keep reminding yourself to do it. When you feel those telltale signs of stress coming to you, make a conscious effort to take a deep breath and gain perspective of the situation. Though you would normally turn to some vending machine cuisine or a sweet treat to deal with the stress, allow yourself a few minutes to process and slow it all down—and you ultimately may not even need that tempting food in the long run anyhow!

Plan for your meals so you have what you need and you don’t turn to food for the wrong reasons: It does take some thinking and planning in advance, but it can really pay off. Arm yourself with healthy meals and snacks and then you have all the right foods with you at all times. Though you still want to learn to manage your stress eating and get to the root cause of the problem, if you have healthy food with you then you avoid the temptations and help yourself through the problem in the right way. 

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