Food makes us feel good in the moment – there’s no debate about that. And there’s nothing wrong with reaching for something to eat to make us feel better – because really, it DOES make us feel better!
Stress eating makes us eat more than we need to because we’re not eating when we’re hungry. We’re eating as a coping mechanism. And when we eat in EXCESS of our weight-maintenance caloric levels, we gain weight.
So, how do you stop the stress eating? Well – you need to figure out what you think is making you stressed and stop putting yourself in those situations! Here’s our advice.
BREATHE, HYDRATE, WALK.
The next time you want to run to the snack cupboard and down a share bag of crisps, take a moment to breathe. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Slowly. Remind yourself that you’re not actually hungry, and that you just need a break. Take a sip of water and go outside for a walk. It’ll help clear your mind and get your blood pumping, which will in turn make you feel better pretty much right away!
Not getting enough sleep increases your stress hormone cortisol, which has been shown to be linked to an increase in lower belly fat. So what to do? Make it a PRIORITY to get into bed earlier. Try 10 min earlier, then 20 min, then 30 min, then an hour earlier. The sooner you get IN bed (even if you’re not sleepy), the sooner you’ll be likely to fall asleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep, do not look at your phone right before you go to bed. Work emails and notifications will stress you out. The light will make it harder for you to fall asleep. Instead, try reading a book.
CREATE A POSITIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT.
If you are stressed at work is there a way you can talk to your boss and tell them what’s going on? How can your boss help you do your job better? I mean, yes they are there to manage you, but there are also there to get you to do your job well. It’s okay to ask for help! Maybe there’s something that you discuss that will improve the work flow for the whole team!
If talking to your boss sounds scary, how about talking to your co-workers? Problem solving together and then bringing your plan to the boss might even impress him or her!
Either way, when work is stressful, it is important to let someone know so that they can help you get through it.
FIND YOUR FORM OF MEDITATION.
Traditional meditation isn’t suited for everyone. Some people can’t find peace in sitting still for an hour. But meditation doesn’t have to look like that.
One form of meditation is a deep tissue massage! Getting into the zone when working out is another form of meditation or mindfulness, and you always feel good after.
Find something that you can get lost in. Maybe it’s drawing, yoga, knitting, gardening – whatever it is – your form of meditation does not have to look like anyone else’s. It just needs to make you feel relaxed.
TALK IT OUT.
Sometimes we just need someone to hear us complain! Get it off your chest. Talking it out will bring clarity to the situation and will help you figure out what is actually stressing you out. Once you figure that out, and figure out a plan of attack for your problem. Being solution oriented helps you to stay less stressed because it keeps you objective and focused on the end goal.