In fact, when people ask me how I am doing, I just answer, “Weird.”
This kind of change, this kind of stress, often causes us to react in ways that don’t serve our body, our souls and our mindsets.
Enter stress eating.
How many of you, because of the stress or because of the plain ‘ole fact that you are home without the routines you are used to, are finding your way to the pantry to munch on that bag of chips the kids opened the other day, or digging into the Easter candy you bought before this “apocalypse” hit?
All in an attempt to either curb boredom or fight the stress.
But doing that, as you know, causes more stress. It’s unhealthy and we actually feel worse.
The key, however, is to intentionally figure out better ways to deal with the stress, recognize the triggers, and build better habits.
And as a huge advocate for modeling appropriate behavior for our kids, this is a reminder that they are watching us because, let’s face it, they are now with us every. minute. of. every. day. in this new reality we are living in.
Here are 5 ways we can curb the stress eating and adopt better, healthier habits:
- Name it: In our membership group we are reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. One of the ways in which he talks about curbing habits that don’t serve us is to “make it obvious.” It's as simple as saying it out loud. If you find yourself going to the pantry to eat when you aren’t hungry, say something like, “I am not hungry but I want to eat because I am bored/stressed/lonely and this will not serve my body.” You will be surprised how that simple act will reprogram your actions to do something else.
- Make it a game: Involve your kids in this one! Brainstorm a bunch of fast, healthier ways to respond to stress/boredom/loneliness and write each of them on an index card. When you find yourself going to the pantry, pull your kids together and say, “I am feeling like I need a break. Let’s pick a card and do what it says!” Some ideas for your cards can be play with the dog, doodle, run up and down the stairs, listen to a song, drink water, read a magazine, go for a walk, have an impromptu dance party, etc.
- Eat to fuel your body: At Disruptive Nutrition, we have a very specific approach that involves fueling our bodies so we are always satisfied. We don’t deprive ourselves and we understand how food serves us. By adopting our approach called “PFC Every 3” we are eating a protein, fat and carb every 3 hours and because we are satisfied and our blood sugar is consistently balanced, we don’t crave foods. Sometimes what we think is stress or boredom is really our body’s blood sugar being off vs. it being about our will power. For more info on this concept, download our free guide by clicking here.
- Pair it to balance it: Very often our stress eating leads us to want carbs and fats, or a combination of both. If you are simply in the mood for some chips or chocolate and it is coming up on that 3-hour mark since you last ate, instead of denying yourself, sometimes you can simply pair it with some protein to make it a PFC correct meal…it may not be “healthy” but it is “correct” and will keep your blood sugar stabilized which will keep you from sabotaging your weight loss goals! CLICK HERE for our awesome ebook of 101 PFC Simple Meal Ideas…there are many “correct but not so healthy” combinations in there for you!
- Notice it and replace it: Pick a quick and easy action that will serve you and replaces a non-necessary trip to the pantry. One of my clients realized that in-between tasks at work, she would walk to the staff room and mindlessly eat. She wasn't even aware that it was happening until she started working with us on our 4 Weeks 2 Wellness Lifestyle Launch. Because her coach was holding her accountable, she started to notice this habit. So, she replaced it with something quick and simple. She did 5 squats between tasks and she realized it energized her and made her feel better when she sat back down to get started again on her work. We had another client who loves to sing and when she noticed herself stress eating, she decided she would sing for 1 minute instead. The staff in the break room loved her entertainment and she filled not only her own needs, but the needs of others too! Get creative and notice when you tend to run for the food when it doesn’t serve you and plan for a replacement action instead.
We aren’t victims to our habits…but we can let them take over if we aren’t intentional and planned, and especially at this time in our lives, we need to take control over what we can!
You got this, my friend! Comment below on how how you are going to curb your stress eating these days!