A widespread coping mechanism when we are stressed, upset or overwhelmed is to turn to food for comfort. There’s a term “comfort food” after all – and it’s a genuine thing. Even boredom can trigger mindless eating, such as when you’re curled up on the couch enjoying your favorite show and feel the need to snack your way through it.
Is binge eating something you struggle with, too?
So, how do you avoid binge eating even when life gets crazy? Here are some tips to help guide you through.
1. Know your triggers
Knowing is half the battle! If you find that you tend to overeat after stressful projects at work or when you spend time at your parents home, you can head it off at the pass.
2. Take notes on your stressors
Write down everything you eat (both good and bad) for an entire month. When you do, be sure to note your mood with each meal and snack. By doing so, you can pinpoint what’s sending you into the kitchen to overindulge and retrain yourself to handle it without food.
3. Choose active activities with friends
Often, we make plans to go eat with friends. But there are other ways to socialize without doing it over plates of food. Suggest a meet-up at the park, trying a new class at the gym, going to a pottery workshop, or something that gets you away from the dining table.
4. Choose healthier foods first when eating
This tip is perfect for the upcoming holiday party season but can be used year-round. When you’re presented with loads of tempting foods, first fill your plate up with healthy items. Eat them slowly and wait. If you’re still hungry, go back for a small plate of seconds when you can enjoy the not-so healthy dishes you had your eye on.
5. Drink more water
Water keeps us hydrated and is useful for flushing out toxins. It’s also a good helper when it comes to preventing overeating. Drink it before you have a meal and you’ll be less inclined to overeat.
6. Don’t eat in front of the TV
In front of the TV is where much overeating takes place. Do something else with your hands if you can’t help eating while watching your shows. This will keep you busy and less likely to snack. Fold your laundry or take up knitting to keep your hands busy.
7. Seek stress-busting alternatives
Indulging in foods you love is fine in moderation, but if you’re doing it to battle your feelings, it’s not a healthy habit to continue. Stop this from happening by going with other ways of reducing stress. If this is a problem you’re struggling with, really dig deep into what truly relaxes you, and learn to implement these tactics in your everyday life.
What do you find helps calm you the most?