Have you ever stopped after a stressful day and found yourself holding an empty container of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey and wondered “Did I really just inhale this entire container of ice cream???”
Then proceeded to proclaim it’s all because you are a stress eater!
If so, you are not alone! So many of us use food as a way to not feel the anxious feelings caused by stress. We use food like a drug to raise the serotonin in our brains and to reduce cortisol.
It does work temporarily. But it causes havoc with our weight and our health.
Here are 3 steps to stop stress eating.
1. Recognize your attachment to it. Everytime you say “I’m a stress eater”, you reinforce that behavior. Begin to change what you say to yourself and others.
Instead say “I have used food to not feel the anxious feelings brought on by stressful situations and I’m now choosing to use other relaxation methods.”
This separates YOU from a behavior you want to change. YOU are not a stress eater. YOU are YOU. And you are now choosing a new behavior.
2. Find your stress eating triggers! When do you typically find yourself using food to relieve your feelings of stress? From that point go back in your day and see if you can identify the specific events or people that trigger your stress.
3. Make a plan on how you are going to deal with that stress trigger the next time. I like using the breath to calm down. It’s always with us and it works!
When you start feeling the feelings you associate with stress, stop what you are doing and take a deep breath through your nose down into your belly. Then slowly exhale that breath through your mouth. Take several long deep breaths and notice how everything just settles down inside.
Try these 3 steps to stop stress eating and come back and share your experience by leaving a comment.
Remember…you are not alone. And you don’t have to do it by yourself!