It’s Monday afternoon, 3pm and you’ve hit the wall!
You haven’t eaten all day because you’ve been working so hard that you forgot to eat. All you’ve had today is four cups of coffee and two diet soft drinks.
You feel exhausted, but today’s 5pm deadline is looming, so you grab a pastry, a chocolate bar and another coffee; all the foods that you have successfully avoided for the last three weeks.
Then you hit the wall of frustration and guilt and think to your self “Here we go again, another one bites the dust…”
Are you feeding your feelings?
You may be turning to food for stress relief, comfort, or as a reward. If you’re a stress eater, you may feel powerless over your habit of feeding your stress feelings when you feel overwhelmed.
This pattern of eating can quickly escalate into frustration with yourself, your body and your weight. Leaving you feeling tired, deflated, and anxious.
Stress eating happens when you have” too much on your plate”
When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you don’t have extra time, energy reserves and willpower to action control.
Here’s a fact – 90% of your daily decisions are driven by emotion and only 10% are based on logic. It’s hard to talk yourself into a healthy chicken salad for lunch if you’re overcome by emotion. You’re not a robot!
So what do you need?
What you need, when you are stressed, is a strategy and some practical steps to help you avoid using food as comfort. And you want to let go of the guilt and shame you may be feeling and learn from your previous experience with out judging your self.
You could try asking your self these questions:
What you can do is :
So when stressful, overwhelming moments happen:
Try and be with your self and recognize that you are having a tough time
Be gentle with yourself, allowing whatever emotion you feel to come up: it may be frustration, you may feel misunderstood or taken advantage off
That’s ok, just let it be the way it is at that moment, you don’t need to change it!
You don’t have to fix the way you are feeling right now
Applying some practical steps, that you can action on the spot, can give you the break through you may be looking for to start addressing your stress eating.
Here are The Best 5 Steps that you can use to manage stress eating on the spot
Step One: Mindful Pause
This is the first and most important step in the process of changing your default reaction.
When stress and overwhelm strike….
Leave the stressful situation. This may mean walking out of the office
Identify how you are feeling, “I am feeling overwhelmed and frustrated”
Pause and feel your in-breath and out-breath for 10-15 seconds
Conclude with a question: Which of my character strengths will I bring forward right now? (Character strengths link in references)
Step Two: Mindset Reset
Getting to know your self and what you are feeling on a daily basis is beneficial in helping you come up with strategies that work
Identify what you are feeling and wanting at that moment
Give your self a few minutes to feel this way
You may find it helpful to journal to keep track of your emotions and the time of the day they happen
Be curious with out judging your feelings and needs
Yes, you may feel like chocolate, as this is your default response normally, but if you sit a little with your feelings you have the opportunity to make a better more deliberate choice
Step Three: Attitude shift
One of the secrets to your lasting change is change that is accompanied by attitude shifts.
You need an attitude shift that gives you the mental strength to resist temptation and stand strong in your resolve to change
That shift is accomplished with positive self-talk and the intentional, purposeful filling of your mind with motivational, positive input
Pausing and setting your intention for strength and support isn’t a bad idea either
Step Four : Make a choice
Act on your choice. In your action, your knowledge becomes power.
Try and choose something that is in line with your goal or purpose
Make sure you have healthy go-to snacks with you where ever you go
I always carry small bags of nuts, protein bars, fruit and a bottle of fresh cold water where ever I go, so I am always prepared
Step Five : Win & Celebrate success
Good choices are your small wins and are those that support your good intention.
Ultimately finding out the cause of your stress eating and applying some ways to get OUT of that cycle will help you start eating with a sense of FREEDOM, self-confidence and empowerment, and I’m here to help you.
Stress and crisis will always be a part of life – but the science of neuroplasticity proves that you can actually rewire your brain and get rid of those habits, with the right tools, strategies and support.
That’s why it’s so critical that you learn the tools, strategies and support that are specifically right and effective for you, so you can manage stress and your emotions.
You can’t do it all on your own, and you need different solutions for different situations. Luckily, there are so many different things you can do, for both acute and chronic stress, and to rewire your bad habits.
You just need to know WHAT those tools and strategies are, and HOW to actually implement them in your life.
How would you life change if you found a new and supportive outlet for stress and overwhelm?
What if you dealt with the cause of your stress eating that is getting in the way of your quality of life?
If you would like help with rewiring your habits and managing your emotional reactions to stress so you can start eating with a sense of FREEDOM, self-confidence and empowerment, than contact me for a chat a 15-minute discussion
It’s free. And it might change your life.
Your Emotional Eating Coach
I am a creative scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ busy women to stop fighting with emotional eating, stress eating and overwhelm and start living the lives they’ve been craving.
1. Kate Lersen, Progress-Not-Perfection
3.Stress and Eating Behaviours
4. Character Strengths test