How to Stop Yourself from Stress Eating

There are many coping mechanisms that people adapt to alleviate stress in this current situation. One common unhealthy habit is stress eating or emotional eating, where people turn to food when they find themselves in unmanageable situations. This habit may interrupt weight loss goals or weaken the immune system due to eating an excess of unhealthy food. Here are just a few ways that can help you get back on track with healthy eating habits. 

4 Ways to Keep Yourself from Stress Eating

Keep a Food Diary

If your goal is to stop stress eating for weight loss, then maybe keeping track of the food you consume will make you more aware of your eating habits. Create a food diary where you can list down everything– from main meals to snacks in between. When you become aware of what you eat, the more likely you will control it.

Don’t Deprive Yourself – You Can Snack if Needed

Encouraging to eat may seem counterintuitive, but suppressing hunger may actually make you more vulnerable to returning to the habit. The more you suppress yourself, the more it will bother you. And if you give in eventually, the habit may return and may be even harder to control. 

Keep in mind that you still need to eat, and the habit you’re trying to beat is to avoid overeating. There is a difference between being hungry and “feeling hungry.” Eat when you’re hungry and snack if, for instance, you skipped a meal or require more energy for the activities that you’re about to do that day. Avoid eating when you just feel like it. Be conscious of the food that you snack on and control the quantities. The trick to beating emotional eating is conscious eating.

Get Creative with Healthy Recipes

Are cravings the problem most of the time? It could then help you get creative in the kitchen and find alternative recipes to make your favorite snacks healthier. When you make it yourself, you are aware of the ingredients that go into your food. You control what you eat. 

Prepping the food will also help mindful eating. When you are aware of the work that goes into cooking food, then you will most likely need to allot time in your schedule to cook. And if there is simply no time to cook, you may choose only to eat during meal times.

Also Read: Foods to Eat for Quick Energy Boost

Beat the Habit with Another Coping Mechanism

Not all coping-mechanisms are bad. You don’t have to turn to vices to replace the bad habit of stress eating. When you feel yourself craving for something to alleviate stress, try using meditation to calm yourself down. Five to ten-minute yoga can make all the difference in your mood and help distract you from your need to eat out of whim. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum to keep your mouth busy and avoid overeating. Other alternatives are relieving stress with a nap or a simple walk.