If you've ever been in a situation where you couldn't stop snacking because of a stressful event you were going through, you've engaged in an activity also known as stress-eating. Induced by the wrong hormones in your body, it's not really the best for your overall health and wellbeing, so here's what you can do instead and curb those cravings.
Take a Walk
Simple as that. Step away from your snack of choice, leave it on your kitchen counter, grab your keys and go outside. Take a walk in your neighborhood and breathe in the fresh air, allowing your body to calm down and your stress to reduce.As soon as you start feeling more relaxed, your crazy cravings will weaken, and maybe even disappear altogether. And you don't even have to take a long walk, just a short 10-15 min break will do. If you still end up feeling really hungry when you come back, grab something to eat as you might also just be hungry after all.
Call a Friend
Distracting yourself by calling a friend will help you stay away from that bag of chips you've been munching on while writing emails. There's even a good chance you didn't even notice half of it is gone already.When you eat without acknowledging it means the drive isn't coming from your hunger hormones, but rather your stress hormones, and turning them off is key to managing your stress-eating habits. Picking up your phone and talking to your friend will help bring your stress down and consequentially, cause you to forget that bag of chips even existed.
Often times, we find ourselves reaching for that top shelf full of snacks when in reality, we're just a bit dehydrated. Try drinking a full glass of water and waiting for 10 min to see if your cravings return. If not, it means you weren't really hungry, but if they do, make yourself a meal.
Do Something Fun
Next time your boss gets you feeling frustrated, abstain from opening your fridge and going into full savage mode. Instead, take a deep breath and think of doing something that makes you laugh and feel good. Play a videogame, go for a run, play catch with your dog, or put on some good music and dance around the house.Anything that lowers your stress levels and brings your endorphins up is a good idea, so think of something fun and go do it.
Exercise is known to reduce your stress levels and help you feel more relaxed as endorphins run through your body. Take a fitness break from snacking and put on your favorite activewear on, ready to release your stress through movement.Go for a run, get on your bike, roll out your yoga mat, or challenge your friend to a game of tennis. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you move your body and feel all the tension and toxins just flush away.
Take a Bath
Hopping in a hot bath to soothe your mind and bring some zen into your life is a great way to distract yourself from mindlessly snacking on something while you nervously type away at your computer or read something you're supposed to memorize by tomorrow.Take a 10 min break and let the warm water relax your muscles and your overall tension, letting all stress literally go down the drain.
Whenever you feel an urge to raid the pantry, take a moment to tune into your own breath and listen to your inhales and exhales. Close your eyes and place your hands on your thighs or knees, grounding yourself to the floor and feeling your sitting bones support your spine.Find peace and calm through your breath and deepen each inhale and exhale, feeling your shoulders drop, the space between your eyes soften, and your jaw relax. Your mind will follow and you'll find yourself in a much better position than when you started, calming down your urge for food.
Make An Elaborate Meal
If you find yourself feeling crazy hungry all of a sudden, a great way to curb your cravings is to choose a dish that can't be done in 5 min or a snack you can just open and devour. Find a recipe that sounds appealing and start slowly prepping the food, preheating the oven, and then finally, when your meal is done, sit down and eat without distractions.This pure activity is making you feel, touch, taste, and experience food in a whole different way than you would by grabbing that chocolate bar or another pint of ice cream. It's also more likely to open your appetite to better-for-you food and have you really absorb all the nutrients instead of munching on empty calories.
Talk To Yourself
At the end of the day, it's important to notice your stress-eating patterns and acknowledge them for what they are. Distractions and ignoring can only do so much, as the whole point is not to succumb to them, but to prevent them from happening in the first place.Learn how to be your own best friend and find those activities that work for you, helping you to stay away from stress-eating and inflaming your body even more than it already is due to the amount of stress it's under.Overeating adds on to an already stressful situation and makes your body feel like it's under attack from all sides, wreaking havoc, and making it impossible for you to deal with all things at once. Talk to yourself and be your own guide through it - you are the only person who can truly do that.
Stress-eating is a problem many people deal with nowadays and the more we talk about it, the easier it will be to find ways to cope and prevent it. Try these techniques and see which one works for you best.
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