Emotional and stress eating are very common coping mechanisms for a lot of people, including myself. If you don’t know my story, I used to struggle with binge eating and stress eating .
Today I want to tell you that in times of high stress, I STILL struggle with stress/emotional eating. Yes, me, the personal trainer. The one who built a nutrition program and community to help people build healthy relationships with food.
I’m HUMAN. And so are you! Here are some tips that have helped me navigate stress/emotional eating.
1) Eat nutrient dense meals. When I am mindful of nutrient dense meals and snacks, it helps me to stress eat less. Even if I am stress snacking, I find that the quantity is far less when I’ve had good meals.
2) Pause for one moment. If you know you’re stressed and feeling that inclination to stress eat, try pausing for one moment. Take a deep breath. What do you really need right now? Do you need to phone a friend? Go for a brisk walk down the hall?
3) Have grace for yourself. Life is REALLY hard sometimes. Having a cookie, or chips, or you name it, aren’t going to derail you permanently. (But that belief could be part of a bigger issue…I digress.)
4) Portion food out. If you decide you indeed want to eat and you know it’s a stress trigger, try portioning it out and then walk away from the source. Release the guilt, you’ve taken a pause and you’re mindfully making this choice. No guilt here.
Honestly the stress and guilt of stress/emotional eating can be far more damaging to your health than the actual eating.
Do we want to work toward eating not being our first inclination when we’re stressed? Absolutely! But guilt and shame will not build a healthy and anxiety free relationship with yourself or food. I promise because I’ve been there.
Try putting at least one or two of these strategies into practice and I think you’ll quickly notice how much it helps. (Hint, if you’re not sure where to start, nutrient dense meals are a big deal!)
If you’re looking for help with building a healthier relationship with food, building nutrient dense meals, and accountability, my online nutrition program and community, EatWell is for you!
You can get additional EatWell information here!