Combatting Stress Eating

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Replies

  • NovusDies wrote: »
    One of the problems you face is that in the short term denying the habit fulfillment, even if it is a known maladaptive coping strategy, is unpleasant and stressful. When you satisfy the habit your brain is relieved which makes that little bit of stress go away. That reinforces the bigger lie that food is relieving stress. Eating cannot relieve stress if it is causing you stress which it obviously is which is why you are asking.

    One of the places to start is relieving some of your stress. I know you think it is not possible but I am quite sure you are focused on the big ticket items and you are overlooking smaller potential wins. Stress is cumulative. Any amount you reduce is helpful. Look for anything that you find frustrating. If it takes you 10 minutes 4 days a week to locate your keys that is an annoyance and an easy thing to fix. We had a horrible basket system for my dog's leash. I took a few moments to hang a hook and my life was ever so slightly better. I am willing to bet if you paid attention you would find a number of things.

    That is some fantastic advice. Thank you!
  • briscogun
    briscogun Posts: 1,135 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    BZAH10 wrote: »
    What coping methods have you tried? And why do you think they didn't work? Distraction is generally the first thing to do but I'd be interested to hear what you've already tried so that different ideas can be suggested.

    Mainly tried controlling the eating. Besides that, meditation, journaling, yoga, lifting, etc to help with stress relief.

    Are you lifting regularly and getting the yoga or other forms of exercise on the non-lifting days? These are great tools - wanted to make sure you are actually using them regularly as I have struggled with turning tools into habits.

    Also want to make sure you are getting enough protein and fiber (or whatever satiates you) - when I am low on protein and am stressed I can eat and eat and eat snacky foods and never feel satisfied.

    Under ordinary circumstances, regular exercise helps tremendously with my mental health, and I increase exercise for times of increased stress. But this year has been extraordinarily challenging.

    Before I go into my whole mental health journey for this year I wanted to make sure you have the above dialed in.
    My problem is with less time I think less about food so I grab crap a lot. I do need to refocus my choices for sure.

    I think you may have answered your own question.

    So is there a way you can prepare your meals in advance so you aren't having to grab crap on the go? If you know you are going to be crazy, bring a lunch or meal(s) with you, keep them in a cooler or small fridge at work? Then when your schedule is goofy or gets thrown out of whack you have food and snacks ready that fit into your goals.

    I have really long days at work and my meals can be hit and miss, so I bring in food every day (lunch, snacks, even dinners sometimes) so I don't go off the rails.

    Everyone has issues, challenges, obstacles, whatever, along their journey. None of us are in an ideal setting with no stress, issues, etc. It's just how we cope with them. If you want it bad enough you work through it.

    Good luck!
  • katiemcm1125
    katiemcm1125 Posts: 26 Member
    Therapy has helped me a lot.
  • Butterfly_Ninja3
    Butterfly_Ninja3 Posts: 32 Member
    Everyone has such good advice! Of course there is never a one size fits all when it comes to mindless/stressful eating. I view food much different than my parents and brothers for sure! They eat to fuel their bodies. I eat because it gives me PLEASURE and SATISFACTION and um... it tastes delicious! I can't just pick up a PB&J and say Mmmmm that was great fuel! I wish I could. I would love to be at the point some time! Changing my mindset is what needs to happen, but easier said than done. What I personally do is make sure I have snacks/meals prepped ahead of time to make sure I DON'T overeat or just in general EAT CRAP! I drink a glass or 2 of water before I eat so my stomach isn't so empty when I start eating. After I drink the water, I make sure I'm SITTING DOWN to eat and I eat slowly. I chew slower. I put my fork/spoon down after each bite so I am not scooping up the next bite so fast. Aside from that (which btw helps me a LOT) I will journal what is going on that day. I write my feelings down. I have YEARS of journaling and believe it or not, the fact that I can look back and see what triggered my binge/stress eating has helped me to avoid doing it that way again! The biggest thing I've learned (for me personally) is that MEAL PREPPING, SITTING DOWN TO EAT, DRINKING A GLASS OR TWO OF WATER BEFORE YOUR MEAL, CHEWING SLOWLY, SETTING YOUR FORK/SPOON DOWN WHEN YOU EAT AND JOURNALING helped me WAY more than anything else I have tried. It truly is a mind over matter issue with me. I HAVE to control it, or it will control me. What you are doing... .going for a walk with your dog, that is good too! Your stress level must be unreal with all you have going on... I feel for you! Just breathe.... You have a LOT on your plate right now and honestly, your health will suffer if you don't relax more and try not to take so much on at once. Your body is under stress and I'm sure you know that isn't good for your overall health. The last thing you need is an ulcer, or a stroke/heart attack because you are wearing yourself thin. Taking some time with your dog, your headphones listening to music and relaxing while doing it is a good idea. You got this! Just take time to think about what you can do the day before... like at night time... take a few minutes to pack your lunch/snacks ahead of time. I do believe that will help you! GOOD LUCK!!!!
  • KealoloSue
    KealoloSue Posts: 16 Member
    edited November 2020
    Tim, would it work for you to buy yourself a small refrigerator that is just for you? Buy a used one (thus cheaper, often found on Craigslist) and stock it with things that are only for you. Fill it full of carrots, apples, other low calorie but crunchy snacks. This way every time you open the door for a snack you aren't staring at yummy high cal temptations. Add in a lot of gum to chew on, teas that are low cal and add low cal coconut milk and no cal saccharine or other zero cal sweetener. Keep a little notebook to jot down when you are likely to turn to comfort food. If specific times, then plan on taking doggy for a walk at those times or go for a bike ride. If you know some stressful decisions or activity will be coming up plan a fun activity for afterwards that is out of the house and away from snacks.
  • KealoloSue wrote: »
    Tim, would it work for you to buy yourself a small refrigerator that is just for you? Buy a used one (thus cheaper, often found on Craigslist) and stock it with things that are only for you. Fill it full of carrots, apples, other low calorie but crunchy snacks. This way every time you open the door for a snack you aren't staring at yummy high cal temptations. Add in a lot of gum to chew on, teas that are low cal and add low cal coconut milk and no cal saccharine or other zero cal sweetener. Keep a little notebook to jot down when you are likely to turn to comfort food. If specific times, then plan on taking doggy for a walk at those times or go for a bike ride. If you know some stressful decisions or activity will be coming up plan a fun activity for afterwards that is out of the house and away from snacks.

    Probably not right now. Plus it’d go in the garage versus right where I need it when I get snacky. It’s really less about my snacking and more about changing my routine and how I view food in general. It’s a reward for me vs fuel. I get extremely focused and will snack without thinking in order to not lose motivation for what I’m doing.

    The dog walks are a good idea and I can de that easy. We have a new one that needs the energy burned of!