We all tend to make unhealthy food choices that satisfy our mental/emotional cravings, even though we may not be physically hungry, especially, when stressed out. A recent survey found that 64% of Americans who eat while stressed, typically reach for junk foods – likely the saltiest, sweetest or highest-calorie options.
While giving in to these cravings may provide a short-term fix, it may lead to guilty feelings and added pounds down the road. What can we do to break this emotional eating cycle and win the battle of mind over munchies?
Here are some suggestions:
- When stressed out, take a few deep slow breaths. Get some sunshine while you do so.
- Choose nutritious, filling foods that crunch. Crunch, high-fiber foods can provide great mental and physical satisfaction and crunching/chewing can help relieve stress.
- Studies show that by chewing longer, can aid in feeling full. So, put your utensil down and chew your food slowly… at least 20 times, before adding another bite!
- Add variety to your meal and snack options. The survey showed that 40% of Americans would consider improving their diets if there a larger variety of healthy foods to get on track,. Delicious food combinations that provide fiber, whole grains, crunch and variety will help keep you motivated and satisfied
- Stock “stress areas” with healthy snacks. Don’t succumb to unhealthy cravings when the pressure stars to get to you. If the office is where you feel the most stress, they keep a healthy snack at your desk and skip the trip to the vending machine. Smart options include oranges, grapefruit, green apples, dehydrated raw crackers, or 2-3 tablespoons of soaked nuts.
- Exercise more. Daily exercise can help to alleviate stress by adding endorphins, curb cravings and leave you feeling and looking better. Stash a pair of sneakers in a desk drawer at the office so you can squeeze in some exercise whenever you have a free 10-15 mins.
- Construct a positive & believable affirmation, using your words. Then, say it at least 20-30 times a day, while thinking of the meaning of the words.
- Get yourself good Support System, a Role Model, a mentor. Surround yourself with positive loving people to keep your stress level down and your Personal Growth up. Get help.
- When stressed out, ask yourself, “What’s eating me? What’s missing in my life? What do I really want? What will fulfill me?” etc.
- And, if you ARE unfulfilled, go after what you desire, instead of stuffing yourself with inappropriate snacks that will only rub of you of energy, vitality, and self-esteem.