Food for Thought: Two Effective Ways to Stop Stress Eating

by Jim Gazzale

The 24-hour news cycle is horrifying, the uncertainties of today are driving anxiety through the roof, and your refrigerator is only a few feet away.

Stress eating is far too common without COVID-19, so if you’re feeling even more overwhelmed and calming your nerves with food just know that you’re not alone. Know too, that it’s not a sustainable way forward to constantly suppress your feelings with comfort food.

Here’s how you can move past the stress eating and ultimately eliminate it altogether:

  1. Forgive yourself! It’s OK, we’re all stressed and adapting to this forced change. Your negative feelings are leading you to snack and binge eat. More negative feelings towards yourself for giving in to cravings is only going to perpetuate the issue. Don’t fight fire with fire. Fight it with compassion and empathy for yourself.
  2. Interrupt the cycle. Be an active participant in your emotions. When you recognize the cravings coming on due to stress, break that cycle of turning to food. Instead, pick up the phone and call or FaceTime family or friends. Go for a walk. Try to create space between your emotions and the food. Over time, your new response to stress won’t be a trip to the kitchen. It’ll be whatever healthy (hopefully) activity you’ve replaced that habit with.

Raise your hand if you’ve stress ate over the past few weeks. I know my hand is going up in the air. You’re not alone and it’s OK. Here’s a bonus tip if you’re wanting more strategies to prevent overeating and weight gain while working from home and homeschooling your kids: take advantage of the free virtual coaching and training from SENS Fitness. There’s a new video on nutrition, motivation, and mindset each day plus training plans, accountability, Zoom workouts, and all the support you could ever need to continue making progress toward your goals, even during this pandemic. It’s totally free to join!

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