If you are fighting stress eating, it’s important to be smart and strategic. Some of the tactics that high-achieving, busy women turn to (almost by instinct) will not only fail, they are likely to add even more stress and overwhelm to your life.
In fact, there’s one thing that is critical to pay attention to when it comes to stress eating. You’ll want to laugh when you hear it – but don’t. It truly is the one key component that many women overlook – and the thing that can keep you trapped in cycles with overwhelm, overload, and stress eating.
Here’s a short emotional eating tip I recorded for you with a major, but ridiculously simple tip on how to stop stress eating.
Too often, stress eating can leave you so frustrated that you jump into what you are going to do (or not do) about your eating instead of acknowledging why the stress eating is happening in the first place.
You’re busy, and maybe a bit panicked by the calories you’re inhaling, so you quickly decide to rein it in. You tell yourself things like:
“I know this is a tough time, but…”
“I am going to be strong, I am going to be tough, I am going to be in charge.”
“I will NOT eat that chocolate!”
. . . all a great plan. Except that focusing on mental toughness, discipline, and willpower to get through a very tough time doesn’t usually work. If you are already stressed and overwhelmed, that limited bandwidth of willpower is probably maxed out. Asking yourself to be strong is just setting yourself up to run out of steam faster.
In fact, food may be your way to zone out or escape the stress, and demanding more discipline from yourself could be a recipe for disaster.
Here’s a better tip to stop stress eating.
When stress eating crops up, create some plans for what to do instead. I call these Instead Strategies. These don’t have to be big or momentous plans, but it is important to consider what actions you can substitute for stress eating. What small things can you try to reward yourself, cope with stress, or nurture yourself when you are anxious or worried and tempted to stress eat?
Come up with strategies that feed you – that take care of your hidden hungers – and your urge to stress eat won’t be so strong.