A lot of us, me included, have fallen victim to eating when we’re stressed. It could be school, family problems, friend problems, a bad breakup, or just a really bad day that can have you curled up and craving something that tastes oh-so-good but oh-so-bad for your body.
Food offers a temporary relief from our problems, almost like a distraction or reward of sorts. That’s the key word: temporary. After the ice cream is gone and the french fries have been devoured, that one icky thing on your mind remains, and it can make you feel really guilty for overeating.
Letting emotional eating become a habit is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Often times, eating everything in sight without considering your overall health just makes you feel worse.
To prevent stress eating, it’s important to first understand what triggers it. Helpguide has a really great article describing these different triggers, and some really good charts that identify the differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger.
If you’re feeling blegh or stressed out and get hungry all of a sudden, crave a certain food, and feel like you’ll die if you don’t eat immediately, it’s considered emotional hunger. You’re not satisfied on a full stomach, and afterward you feel guilty for overeating.
Normal hunger is the opposite. It comes gradually, can wait a little while, and you’re open to eating a variety of things. It stops when you’re full, and doesn’t make you feel guilty after. In this case, treat yo self to whatever you’re feeling that day and enjoy.
Now that you know the difference, you can pinpoint why you’re feeling the way you do. Stress is the number one reason, and things like boredom, bad influences, and just bad habits in general can lead to a metaphorical downfall.
Helpguide again has the solution. They provide some really great alternatives to take down this nasty habit and make you feel better overall. Because why only rid yourself of the stress eating temptation when you can slay the problem as a whole? Go big or go home, right?
Feeling sad? Call a friend, play with a pet, or scroll through Instagram and smile at old pictures. Nervous? Put in some headphones and go for a walk, or turn up that One Direction album and dance around your room. You’ll feel a lot better, promise.
Tired? Anything Tumblr-like is your answer. Hot tea, a bubble bath, scented candles, and a nice warm blanket will have you dozing off in no time. Bored? A lot of people eat out of boredom, just because it’s something to do. Instead, read that book you’ve been putting off, or watch that episode of Grey’s Anatomy you’ve had on the DVR forever.
You can also turn to exercise. A jog, a walk in the park, yoga in the morning like Pinterest hipsters, and hitting the gym a few times a week can do wonders for your mood. You’ll find yourself with way more energy and way less stress, and plus you’ll look pretty darn good at the end of it.
Finally, it’s always important to remember that no one knows you better than you. You can make yourself the best possible you there is, and by eliminating emotional eating from your life, you can be the baddest b on the block.
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