While we’re all somewhat familiar with the nagging voice of guilt in our heads that accompanies an excessive or indulgent meal, it’s another thing entirely to HEED that voice and stop while our body is at a comfortably satiated level.
Stress-eating can be defined in other words as ‘emotional eating,’ or eating to compensate for, or as an alternative to, dealing with emotions.
“27% of adults admit turning to food to deal with stress, while 34% of these admit it to be a habit.”
Why Do We Do It?
While it’s easy to blame external factors – the food itself, the party who provided it, the place in which it was consumed, etc., the real underlying issue with stress-eating lies in lack of awareness of our bodies, emotions, and our ability to deal with them.
The majority of the time, stress-eating is done at times when the body does not need food, as the messages between mind and body get confused, and ‘hunger’ is not the main thing waiting to be satisfied.
Know your triggers.
Getting to know your triggers is KEY if you are ever to overcome (or at least manage) your emotional eating. There are no specific outlines as to what an individual’s triggers can be as everyone experiences different things, so it can often also be hard to gauge when/how a stress-eater will be triggered to binge.
For this reason, I’d recommend taking time while you try to gain control of your eating habits to focus solely on YOU. No matter how tempting it might be to surround yourself with people all the time to hide your eating issue – or the opposite, complete
isolation – the solution to stress-eating will not be found in either extreme.
It’s by becoming comfortable eating when you need to, as much as you need to, and stopping at that, slowly beginning to trust yourself around food again. Trusting your body and the signals it’s giving, and listening for once instead of numbing pain or other complicated emotions with FOOD.
More on triggers here: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/diets/emotional-
In the end, avoiding stress-eating and learning to nourish yourself with balanced, satiating meals is easier said than done, and you may still slip up from time to time. Busy schedules and unpredictable meal plans happen, but the critical thing to be aware of is that this is perfectly natural.
Not everyone eats 100% healthy, 100% of the time.
While it might seem like a distant, unachievable goal right now for you to overcome this, however, I promise you it’s doable!
With a little bit of determination (and of course, support), I believe you can change the way you think about food for good!
I am here to support you, so if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know.