When you’re stressed or overloaded, you don’t have a lot of extra time or energy. That’s one reason why stress eating is so seductive and challenging to avoid. Here are nine simple things you can do to prevent yourself from heading to the kitchen when stress and overwhelm hit.
Nine ways to prevent stress eating:
- List your worries and to-do list on paper.
This keeps them from taking up space inside your brain and short-circuiting your focus or your good intentions.
- Do something physical that fits your personality and your health.
Get out of your head and avoid the kitchen by getting into your body to minimize overwhelm and fatigue.
- Pay attention to transitions such as between work and home or between dinner and bedtime.
Develop a ritual of pausing for a few minutes to ask yourself how you feel and what you need. Overeating, bingeing, and mindless eating are more likely when you are tired or on autopilot.
- Take a thirty-second time out before you snack at your desk.
Determine whether it’s food you crave or something else.
- Sleep a minimum of 7 hours every night.
Lack of sleep causes weight gain, increased appetite, and cravings.
- Identify the times of day you overeat.
Make a plan for these times in advance.
- Put more play and fun into your life.
It will be easier to avoid rewarding yourself with food.
- Choose a time when your day will end and you will transition towards sleep.
Develop a ritual for unwinding and preparing yourself for sleep, so that stress, worries, and late-night eating are less likely to interfere with your rest and your wellbeing.
- Designate unplugged times.
Take breaks daily. Set aside consistent daily time that is free of email, texts, and information overload. This helps you relax and helps you connect with what you really need – that isn’t food.