Healthy Ideas

How to Stop Stress Eating at Home

how to stop stress eating

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How can you stop stress eating?

When you are spending more time at home, it is easier to turn to food when you feel stressed or anxious.

Even when you are bored, it’s so easy to make something tasty to eat.

It’s normal for your brain to crave carbs during times of stress.

Your body thinks you need those extra carbs if you are in danger.

Here are some tips for reducing how much you stress or emotionally eat.

How to Stop Stress Eating at Home

Know Your Stress Triggers

To avoid stress eating, it helps a lot to first be aware of what causes you stress in the first place.

For many people, it isn’t just a general feeling of stress, but specific things that can trigger it.

This might be reading the same sad reports on the news, going on social media, talking to certain people, or even something like not getting enough sunshine or having a different routine.

Start making note of how you feel, what worsens your stress or anxiety, and when you tend to emotionally eat.

It can help to change your environment such as turning off the news and putting on your favorite music. Making these mental shifts can turn off the stress response.

Try to locate what is stressing you out.

Ask yourself “why” you are feeling stressed by the issue. 

If it isn’t something that is in your control, you may want to learn some techniques to let those thoughts go.

I’ve created the Anxious Mind Workbook for those needing help in this area.

Change your Mindset and Activity

 Being more aware of your mindset is a wonderful way to start reducing how often you turn to food because of stress, and not physical hunger.

When you start to feel stressed, take a moment to just take some deep breaths, relax, and pay attention to your feelings for a few minutes.

It can help to physically change what your body is doing to help shift your mindset. Go outside, write in a journal, or physically get up and do a different task.

This doesn’t mean you are going to deprive yourself and not eat, but first understand if you are hungry, or your brain is just reacting to the stress.

Sometimes all you need is some simple distraction to get your mind fixed on something else.

People tend to stress eat because it feels like a temporary fix, a way to have some control over how you feel. 

I’ve personally found it helpful for me to get active in a different way to distract myself from snacking. 

Don’t Let Yourself Get Too Hungry

If you are going without meals or snacks for several hours at a time, you are naturally going to turn to food first to deal with stress, anxiety, or other uncomfortable emotions. You have gotten yourself so hungry that you are now ravenous.

It’s a smart idea to write down or make a note of what time you ate. That way if you are feeling hungry, you can check and see the last time you ate. If it was just an hour ago, your probably not actually hungry but craving or bored.

Emotional VS Physical Hunger

It can be helpful to learn the difference between emotional and physical hunger. This will help tremendously to figure out if you’re actually hungry, or your brain just wants food. Here are a few ways to tell the difference:

Is your hunger coming on slowly or suddenly? Physical hunger tends to come on gradually, while emotional hunger will be urgent and sudden. One minute you’re fine, the next you feel like you’re starving.

Do you feel satisfied? If after a meal or snack, you feel full or satisfied, it was physical hunger. If you still feel “starving”, it was probably emotional hunger.

Can you eat anything? If you feel fine eating anything, it is more like physical hunger. But if you only want specific things, it might just be emotional hunger.

If you are only hungry for chips for example, that sounds like an emotional craving vs physical hunger.

Pay attention to these clues the next time you go check the cupboards for a tasty snack.

I’ve found chewing gum can keep your mouth busy if you are having a craving vs physical hunger.

Let us know in the comments how you stop stress eating at home.

how to stop stress eating


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