Stress eating: recognize the problem and work to overcome it
STRESS EATING – is an emotional eating pattern where at times we as women eat to cope with some of those very stressful situations in our daily life. This however becomes a major problem for us when we can only cope with whatever stress we are faced with by eating or defaulting to the nearest comfort food.
As almost predictable a consequence is that then our bodies, our health and our weight and even self perception is now negatively affected.
There are triggering situations that can lead us towards stress eating, be it from boredom, fatigue, anxiety, sadness, all the way to extreme worry, and so on. As so many of us know as women this issue can appear at any time. We overeat and then feel guilty for not having controlled our habit. However, many times when we go through another challenging situation the behavior is repeated.
Maybe like me, someone else might be also experiencing this circumstance right now. What can we do? Well I’ve been asking around and here is what I came up with.
Start by analyzing and identifying your behavior.
Identify what bothers you
The first step to stop stress eating is to identify everything that bothers you, makes you uncomfortable and makes you feel bad. Consider the following possible reasons that lead you to overeat.
BOREDOM: you carry out many activities and when you have nothing to do you fill that emptiness with food.
FATIGUE: if you are tired you are more likely to not feel like controlling how much you eat.
SADNESS: you feel down in the dumps and food is the first comfort you find.
ANXIETY: you are about to go through an important situation, for example an exam, and you only find calm by eating anything.
Whatever the cause of your stress eating, you have to be aware of the context that makes you overeat.
Ideas for dealing with it
If you suffer from STRESS EATING you should know that the best strategy is to keep a diary where you record your behavior with food. You should be honest with yourself and write down what you feel every time you eat in a difficult situation. You may want to record the following key aspects of your behavior.
Write down exactly what you are doing at the moment when you are stress eating. Surely you perceive that circumstance as unpleasant and that is why you decide to eat, regardless of how hungry you are.
Identify what you feel. Write down the emotions that arise at that moment.
Identify the level of hunger you feel, on a scale of 1 to 10.
The fact of registering what you eat in adverse situations gives you a self-control that will be useful at the time of transforming positively your way of eating.
What you can do from now on
You already know that you suffer from STRESS EATING because you have not yet found another way to cope with difficult circumstances. Consider the following ideas to balance yourself internally and eat healthy.
If you feel bored, you can read a book, contact a friend, go for a walk or take up a hobby.
Take up yoga. This physical activity is physically, mentally and spiritually balancing. Yoga positively transforms the way you eat.
Seek professional counseling from a psychotherapist if you find it difficult to deal with your emotions.
They can easily guide you to find an alternative to stress eating. These are just a few of the possible tactics which I found to handle stress eating, maybe you have gone through this as well and have handled it differently. I’d be happy to hear.