Healthy ways to ditch the stress eating

Patient Expert

When I am stressed, the first thing I look for is something sweet to eat. My brain immediately wants the comfort of chocolate brownies to help avoid all the uneasy feelings from any kind of stress.

Sound familiar?  You are not alone  Here are some methods I use when I feel the urge to stress eat.

1.  I remind myself  "Face your stuff, don't stuff your face".  This mantra has helped me to recognize what I am feeling and reminds me that eating a pan of brownies is not going to resolve the issue.  Sometimes just acknowledging the reason for the stress and letting yourself feel that discomfort is exactly what you need.  Yes, I might feel sad/angry/bored right now, but it will pass.

2.  Go for a walk!  Get outside and away from any junk food that is tempting you and get some fresh air. The endorphins from the exercise will help alleviate stress and by the time you get back home, the food cravings should be gone.

3.  Write it down.  Similar to #1, when you acknowledge the issue, you can find other ways to deal with it. I like to write it down on a piece of paper and crumple it up and throw it away.

4.  Snack on fruit.  Chomp on some grapes or eat an apple. The sugar in the fruit might just do the trick!

5.  Practice mindful breathing:  Slow down your breath and notice how you feel as you calm your body and your mind. Imagine that you are inhaling the good thoughts while exhaling the bad.

Hopefully, if you run through these 5 tips, you will find that you no longer feel like you have to eat to resolve your stress.