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How do I stop overeating during stress?

Realistic beginner-friendly tips to help with overeating and develop mindful eating habits.


 

Often, when faced with negative emotions, many of us turn to our favorite snacks

or indulge in unhealthy foods for comfort. The truth is, breaking this cycle isn't easy, which is why we want to give you realistic beginner-friendly tips you can apply right now. One step at a time, one day at a time, you will be on your journey towards mindful living with confidence and good health, mental and physical.


Tip #1 - Start a food journal: From personal experience, a food journal has helped me be more conscious of time, my food intake, coping, and increased my self-awareness. A food journal can help you the same way. Under stress, my mind and body have developed a bad habit of eating to feel a sense of comfort or control, which is short lived because I find myself doing the same thing later on, when I'm worried or stressed about something else, big or small. The purpose of the food journal is not about being strict or restricting what you normally eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead, it's a start to develop healthier habits, not just in food choices, but coping responses when under anxiety or stress, or any other negative emotion. This is why it's important to take baby steps.


When I started food journaling, I used post-its and stuck to the same foods and snacks, because changing how we eat completely is difficult as is. Before I knew it, I naturally craved healthier alternatives and became more mindful of myself under stress and anxiety that I also became thoughtful in how I coped. That's only the beginning, I promise it gets better. So, it doesn't have to be pretty, just grab a post-it, paper, or the back of an envelope and start keeping track, not just for your physical health, but your mental health as well.


Tip #2 - Stay hydrated: Many of our cravings can be ceased with water. That's pretty easy, right? This is one of the easiest ways to curb those stress activated cravings and my go-to way to keep me from indulging in my hankering to relieve stress with my favorite cereal or ordering from my favorite pizza spot. Granted, it'll take time to make this a habit, but if you can just remember this, especially as you journal, it'll become easier.


Tip #3 - Keep it simple: When you really want something, it's easy to get caught up in going big and taking big leaps, but let's be realistic, you'll end up disappointed and stopping your pursuit entirely, especially if you have little to no family or friend support around you. A great thing to keep in mind is, keep it simple. Don't get caught up in the end result, because we know you'll get there, instead focus on right now. If you start today, by the end of the day you'd have reached a goal toward a healthier and mindful living.


Tip #4 - Forgive yourself: Listen, it's so easy to envision the other side, especially when that's what programs, diet plans, and social media sells you. Not often do you come across someone who dives into the pitfalls and empathizes with how that can easily deter us. It's easier to motivate than to get motivated after falling off. So, how do you regain that motivation after going to your favorite spot to eat, or like me, reaching for a favorite cereal when you're in that negative emotional state? Forgive yourself. Remember, nothing that you've accomplished thus far has been easy, and there were days where you completely missed the mark, right? This is no different, so forgive yourself when you stumble in this journey too.


Remember, your path to a healthier life, whatever that means for you, is unique in every aspect. Make sure to celebrate small victories along the way and be patient with yourself in the process.


 

Let me know which tip you find to be most helpful to you!


-Be Mindful Start Living, BMSL


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