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5 Simple Strategies to Avoid Stress Eating and Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

So we have all been there, using food to soothe our emotions, boredom, frustration, fatigue, etc. You are sitting in front of the TV and bam the craving hits! You want something sweet, or maybe salty, chips sound good, oh wait, I want a cookie. You walk into the pantry and take inventory. Reeces sound amazing, the bag of BBQ lays could work too, or maybe the Oreos! You grab the snack, plop down on the couch and finish off the entire bag in one sitting.

5 mins later the emotions start in...Ugh, I feel stuffed. Did I really need that? Why did I just eat all that? That didn't hit the spot, what else do we have?

Does this all sound too familiar?? You don't want the cravings, but they are so real! You want to feel better, but I NEED sugar! Asking yourself a few simple questions can help you assess what is really going on.

Step 1:

Ask yourself, what am I feeling right now?? Put yourself in pause. Be honest with yourself, are you stuck in a habit, bored, irritated, or stressed? Are you uncertain or out of control? Sit with the feeling. Feelings are exactly what they say they are, just emotions that we feel at that moment. They are not meant to stick around or last for weeks on end. Ask yourself, what do I ultimately want?

Step 2:

Water for the win. Water is your friend and the one substance we are constantly looking to replenish in our body. Since we are 2/3 of it, and constantly losing it, we must also replace it. Dehydration can often be miscued for hunger. A glass or metal water bottle is your best friend, and one topped with electrolytes could be just the answer you need to start winning the craving battle.

Step 3:

Prioritize protein. Eating real food based on protein, fiber, and healthy fat is key to keeping your blood sugar stable. Blood sugar crashes lead to cravings, hangry feelings, headaches, tiredness, etc. Protein helps keep us fuller longer while fat is key in creating a slow burn for energy. Stabilizing blood sugar helps keep the cravings at bay and the munchies away.

Step 4:

Change your state of being. Are you sitting? Go for a walk. Are you in the kitchen, go upstairs. Are you alone? Call a friend on the phone. Are you bored? Read a book, write in a journal, or start a movie. Give yourself 20 minutes before assessing how bad your craving is.

Step 5:

Know the difference between treating yourself and using food to reward or soothe your emotions and stress. We all deserve treats, and if you want a cookie, have a cookie. A deprivation mindset only serves us when our willpower is operating at 100%. Hint, that does not happen very often.

Overall health is best achieved operating at 80 percent. That means 80 percent of the time, you eat well, work out, get plenty of sleep, and keep your stress managed. The other 20 percent is for the cookies and "treats" of life. Life is meant to be enjoyed and not deprived.

Find a lifestyle you can live with and not a "diet", you feel like you are dying on.

You are meant to thrive!

If you need help, reach out. I want to help you find your thrive.

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