How to deal with stress-eating

Stress-eating sucks! We’ve all done it: We had a very stressful day at work, a fight with our spouse, or we simply feel overwhelmed with life itself and to relieve the stress of the day a bit we reach for a cookie or order our favorite pizza.

While – in that moment – this seems like a good strategy for stress relief, we all know that it’s not a good long-term solution. The stress might temporarily fade but soon enough we will find ourselves in a similar situation and the cycle of stress-eating begins anew.

So how can we deal with stress-eating? Here are 5 alternatives that can help you lower your stress level:

1) Breeeeathe!
When we are stressed we tend to breathe very shallowly (chest breathing) which doesn’t allow our lungs to completely fill up with oxygen….which makes us even more anxious.
Placing one hand on the belly and allowing your stomach to rise with every inhale allows you to breathe in deeply, it calms your nervous system, and you feel less stressed. Take as many deep breaths as you need to relax.

2) Go for a walk
Simply moving our body helps lower cravings. You can take a quick 5 minute stroll outside, around the office, or to the bedroom and back. Use the time to clear your head and re-focus on your goals

3) Distract yourself
When we are stressed out we tend to get in a negative mindset. Pausing for a few seconds and redirecting our focus to something completely different can help break the cycle and reduce the cravings that come with our elevated stress levels. You could look out the window and watch the squirrels chasing each other, look around the room and name everything that’s blue, or read a chapter from your new book.

4) Drink water
Water can help to keep cravings at bay. Also, the better hydrated we are, the more focused we are, and the better we can deal with stressors.

5) Have a healthy(ish) alternative available
Ok, fine, you’re right. Sometimes all of that doesn’t help and we want something that comforts us, right here, right now! Make sure you have an alternative handy that is a bit healthier than what you would have usually indulged in. Think: a piece of dark chocolate, chocolate covered raisins, or simply a glass of apple or orange juice (you can dilute it in water to make it less sugary). But always remember, this shouldn’t be the norm but only a last resort when everything else failed.

Know somebody who could use these tips to learn how to deal with stress-eating? Feel free to send them a link to this post. 😉

Author: Jen – The best online personal trainer for women