RSS

Stressed Out? Tricks to Avoid Emotional Eating

01 May

By Tina Haupert

Stressed Out? Tricks to Avoid Emotional EatingA few years ago, I worked in a 9-5 desk job in an office where the kitchen was an ever-present buffet of donuts, muffins, cookies and other larger-than-life pastries. I honestly can’t remember too many days when there wasn’t some sort of sweet treat tempting me to eat it. I often fell victim to those goodies when my stress levels rose, and instead of dealing with what was actually stressing me out, I temporarily masked my feelings with the treats. For a long time, I didn’t recognize this pattern was happening — until it led me to gain several pounds.

Even now when I feel stressed, I still crave sugary carbs, which are loaded with calories and fat and not helpful when it comes to maintaining my Feel Great Weight. It’s not always easy to overcome those emotions, but these tricks have certainly helped me (and will help you!) get a handle on stress eating.

Know Your Triggers
When I felt overwhelmed by a monstrous to-do list or frustrated by a difficult project, I’d often find myself turning to sugary treats for comfort, but learning my motives was key for controlling those cravings. Once I was more conscious of these triggers, I started to change my eating patterns.

Ask, ‘I Am Really Hungry?’
When I feel the urge to stress-eat, I take a moment to assess my actual hunger. I’ll even ask myself: “Am I really hungry?” I know my physical and emotional hungers are different, so I try to wait out a craving to see if my hunger subsides.

Stock Up On Healthy Eats
If I am really hungry, I will eat a healthy snack, like a peanut butter and banana sandwich or Greek yogurt with cereal and nuts mixed in. The combination of healthy carbs, fat and protein satisfies my hunger while helping me feel more relaxed at the same time. Similarly, snacking on crunchy raw veggies like carrot or celery sticks helps me deal with my frustration without consuming a lot of calories.

Use Distractions
When my urge to reach for a sugary treat is really strong, I distract myself from the idea. I’ll either take a brisk 10-minute walk, listen to music on my iPod, read one of my favorite blogs or chat with a friend for a little while. Most of the time, doing one of these things calms me and helps me get a handle on my stress eating.

Pretend It Doesn’t Exist
Think: out of sight, out of mind. For example, if I know there are cookies in my kitchen, I’ll inevitably want to eat them as soon as I start to feel stressed. If I forget that they exist, the chances that I will turn to them for comfort drops considerably.

Be Healthy
This one might seem kind of obvious, but simply trying to be healthy in my everyday life helps me manage my stress levels and cravings. I try to exercise regularly and get adequate sleep each night, because I know if I’m tired or cranky, I’ll reach for food as soon as I start to feel stressed.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/stress-emotional-eating_n_1428801.html

Related Online Continuing Education Course:

Emotional Overeating: Practical Management Techniques

Emotional Overeating: Practical Management TechniquesStatistics report that Americans are an increasingly overweight population. Among the factors contributing to our struggle to stop tipping the scales is the component of “emotional eating” – or the use of food to attempt to fill emotional needs. Professionals in both the physical and emotional health fields encounter patients with emotional eating problems on a regular basis. Even clients who do not bring this as their presenting problem often have it on their list of unhealthy behaviors that contribute to or are intertwined with their priority concerns. While not an easy task, it is possible to learn methods for dismantling emotional eating habits. The goals of this course are to present information about the causes of emotional eating, and provide a body of cognitive and behavioral exercises that can help to eliminate the addictive pattern. Course #40-26 | 2011 | 44 pages | 30 posttest questions

Customer Reviews:

“I liked the Cognitive Behavioral focus and the practical treatment suggestions. This was one of my favorite courses so far–great information and practicality.” – C.T. (Counselor)

“Easy to read and consume, and relate to, which is unusual in CE materials.” – D.C. (Psychologist)

“This information is beneficial to me both professionally and personally! It gave me insight into my own habits and behaviors.  Great course!” – A.L. (OT)

“This was a really good course. Very practical. I will use information from this course in my practice. The test was also very clearly connectd to the reading material.” – L.G. (Psychologist)

“I found this course to be extremely informative.” – L.H. (OT)

“I have taken many of your courses. This one was particularly outstanding — very clear, great practical suggestions and exercises.” – D.G. (Psychologist)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Nutrition & Dietetics

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers

%d bloggers like this: