We’ve all been there before…overwhelmed from a long day at the office, with even more work to do when we get home, and there’s nothing at home to be prepared to eat. Sure, it would make sense to stop at the grocery store and pick up some simple ingredients to make a quick, nutritious meal. But, that’s not what ends up happening. We’re stressed and we’re hungry! Logical thought goes out the window. We head for the nearest fast food drive-thru and gorge ourselves. Stress eating happens to the best of us…we use food to solve problems that it can’t solve. How do we avoid these situations from happening?
- Develop an awareness of triggers – pay attention to the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the situation and identify what may be causing it.
- Develop an “action” list of things you can do before stress eating occurs, and that also align with your goals. Keep it simple, keep it visible, and track how often you use the list. These actions could include:
- Take 5 deep breaths
- Drink a big glass of water
- Play with a pet for a few minutes
- Listen a song
- Self compassion. Don’t judge yourself.
The goal with these tips is not to be perfect. None of us are. However, it is important to investigate these situations and attempt to regain a certain level of control. By focusing inward, in a non-judgmental manner, we can begin to decrease the frequency and intensity of stress eating and allow us to continue on the path to progress towards our goals.