How to stop stress eating to lose weight is one of the most common topics I discuss with my clients. Stress eating is something I see happen often during everyone’s weight loss journey. It’s a form of emotional eating that can really sabotage our goals! Before we talk about how to stop stress eating, we first need to talk about why we stress eat, so we can prevent it from happening in the first place!
Why We Stress Eat…
One of the reasons people tend to lean on foods like cookies when stressed is because it releases dopamine, a feel good neurotransmitter, that helps us feel better momentarily.
I often see clients lean on foods when they are stressed out. Whether they had a long day at work and come home to grab that bag of chips sitting on the counter or maybe it was a fight with their fiancé that lead them to that ice cream in the freezer; these are all forms of emotional eating.
Typically when stress eating, people reach for foods that are not the healthiest. It’s going to be something high in sugar, carbohydrates or salt. Something that’s going to calm you down and make you feel good in the moment… but it’s not going to be good for your weight loss or your overall health!
The key word here is, momentarily. We tend to want high sugary foods because we want to escape whatever situation we are in. It really boils down to the fact that we want to change how we are feeling. The cookie might do that for us for a split second, but then we are left feeling exactly the same as before. Only this time, maybe even worse since we feel bad about consuming the whole box and the initial problem is still there. Instead of distracting ourselves and running away from our emotions in fear of really feeling them, we need to actually feel them.
So what can we do about how to stop stress eating?!
Identify that it’s happening in the first place
If you are eating out of your normal routine, or eating something while you are doing something else be mindful in those situations and ask yourself am I actually hungry?
Find something else to do that is more productive
We want to get to the root cause of the issue so you can actually de-stress you long term. You can read a book, do a meditation, call a friend, exercise, or take a bubble bath. What ever makes you feel calm and relaxed!
Last but not least, step away from the food for a few minutes
Reflect about whatever is bothering you until you truly feel better and then reevaluate if you really want that cookie. If you still really want that cookie, and you no longer feel stressed (don’t lie!) you can have it, even on low carb!
Next time you feel stressed, take a pause, truly sit with whatever emotion you are feeling and acknowledge you are feeling it instead of immediately grabbing those cookies. If you need an immediate sense of relief, you can also grab your puppy who can help you release that same neurotransmitter and have you feeling better in no time.
If you are struggling to see the scale move Id love to invite you to a FREE training I’m hosting on How To Lose Weight By Balancing Hunger Hormones Without Counting Calories, Thursday June 3rd at 7pm EST! CLICK HERE to save your spot for the free training now 🙂