Do you turn to food when you're stressed?
Stress eating is a very common problem for my clients. They have a lot of responsibilities, a lot of things going on all day from the time they wake up until the time their head hits the pillow at night.
They spend every day going, going, going and feel a constant pressure to do it all, be it all, and never miss a beat.
The stress builds up all day long and by 4pm they want nothing more than peace, relief, and a break from the pressure.
This is when their thoughts quickly turn to the chocolate, the pastries, the crackers, and chips, or maybe it’s the double caramel macchiato with extra whip cream, or that lovely glass of wine….
Can you relate?
Stress eating keeps you stuck in a cycle that prevents you from reaching your weight & wellness goals.
So why is it so hard to stop doing it?
Food equals a distraction for you. A temporary escape from having to think about everything you’re so stressed about.
It’s also become a habit. You’ve trained your brain to solve for discomfort by eating, So, every time you’re feeling stressed, your cravings to eat are triggered.
You most likely try to resist these cravings with willpower, but resisting only creates more desire. The result is you breakdown, give in to your cravings, and eat.
While eating does provide a temporary distraction from the stress you’re feeling, it also creates more unwanted feelings like guilt, shame, and frustration.
You start beating yourself up for giving into your cravings and the mental beat down only adds more stress which continues to trigger your cravings to eat.
Stress – Cravings – Resist – Increased Desire – Give In – Guilt/Shame/Frustration –More Stress
RESISTING YOUR CRAVINGS WITH WILLPOWER NEVER WORKS.
To solve the problem of stress eating, you need to learn how to manage your stress in a healthy way, so when you’re feeling it, food doesn’t seem like you’re only option for survival. The #1 thing to know when it comes to managing stress is that….
Your Thoughts Cause Your Feelings, and Your Feelings Drive Your Actions.
It looks like this: THINK - FEEL - ACT
Stress is a feeling.
Stress eating is simply when the action of eating is being driven by the feeling of stress.
If your thoughts cause your feelings, then you need to know what you’re thinking that’s causing you to feel stressed.
Next time you’re feeling stressed and want to reach for food to feel better, stop and ask yourself: “What am I thinking that’s causing this feeling of stress for me?”
Being aware of what you’re thinking is everything when trying to overcome stress eating.
The truth is that all of your thoughts are optional. They are choices that you get to choose. You are always 100% in control of what you think.