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How Do You Deal With Overeating From Stress?

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Old 05-11-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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Red face How Do You Deal With Overeating From Stress?

How Do You Deal With Overeating From Stress? Looking for some ideas.
I'm having trouble getting back on plan.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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I feel the same way Vickielou....Im gonna try and take a walk and get away from the kitchen or any place there may be temptation..Iv been speaking to myself actually ( I know sounds crazy right? Its more of a Mantra). When that urge inside me say I gotta have something I say to myself " there has got to be something else better then eating" then i go off and try to find it! hope this helps..
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:26 PM   #3
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The moment I realize that's the reason I'm eating (and not because I'm hungry) I stop... take a deep breath in and let it out as I count to five.

I dive into something to keep my mind busy elsewhere. Or focus on what is stressing me to look for ways to solve it or lessen it (if that's possible).

Sometimes I'll take a few minutes to plan my next meal out, so if I go to absentmindedly grabbing something from the kitchen again I can stop myself and say "Nope. You already have your dinner planned out. So you gotta wait until then."
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:40 PM   #4
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Well this very thing happened to me the other day (work stress). I went home and wanted to eat something sweet and bad, but I didn't. I jumped on my bicycle and took off for a nice long ride and just worked out my stress that way. I gave my self a pep talk during the ride and basically told myself that whatever stress I was under is not worth sabotaging the work I have done. If I am under stress at my job, I just get my sneakers on and take a walk. It is amazing what some fresh air will do for you.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Stress has a weird affect on me, when things are super stressful, I CAN'T eat! I live a very quiet calm life LOL I'm a 'happy eater' and use it as a celebration for any and all things!

When I'm stressed my stomach is churning and upset, so to stop thinking about it I do crossword puzzles or Soduku, or plan out my meals for the week, or balance my checkbook -- all things that require attention to detail and doesn't let me obsess over the bad thing.

Some of the CBT therapists where I work tell people if a "must eat pie" mentality shows up, to set a timer for 15 minutes. And go do something else for those 15 minutes, clean a bookcase or closet, vacuum, chew gum, walk around the block. If after those 15 minutes the insane craving is still there, have a small piece and count those calories towards your day. 9/10 times the person doesn't want it anymore, it's just getting over that initial hump.

Good luck!
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:48 PM   #6
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Work stress is how I put on most of my excess weight and I have always had a problem with stress eating. But this time I am not letting work stress sabotage my goals.

When I am craving something fattening and filled with fat and salt (fatty/salty foods are my trigger foods) I tell myself that sabotaging my goal and all the work I have done is only going to make me feel worse.

When I stress eat, I am looking to numb myself. I have learned to either exercise the emotions out so that I don't need to numb myself, or if I really need to numb myself, to numb myself in a non-food way such as zoning out in front of the tv, or playing a video game.

Maybe that is not the zenful ideal for my life, but at least it is keeping me from stress eating right now.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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I do an emotional housecleaning to discover what's bugging me. I learned this method through EBT, Emotional Brain Training. I swear by it and attribute it to helping me remain in an obnoxiously good mood most of the time!

So, in an emotional housecleaning, I try to figure out what's going on with me, emotionally speaking. And when those cravings to eat when I'm not hungry come up, it's a great time to do it.

I try to figure out what this situation is all about, but just the facts. No need to relive the whole issue I'm struggling with.

Am I angry, sad, afraid, guilty? I work through each one, and I say them outloud, and I really make sure to feel the feelings.

Then, as I recall what I was just feeling, do I see where I have an unrealistic expectation.

And then, what is a more realistic expectation...and usually, for me, the phrase, "I am doing the best that I can and that's just good enough!" comes up a lot.

I think about what I need to resolve the angst of the moment, and do I need to ask someone for help or can I take care of this myself.

By then, I start feeling a wave of peace come over me, and I have zapped that craving!

I tend to write these cycles down, because that's how my brain works best, but it's also nice to work through one of these with a trusted friend. In the end, you can ask them if anything came up for them emotionally, but please let them know at the beginning you're not really looking for advice. You just want to be heard.

I know it's kinda complex, but it really works for me.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:57 PM   #8
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Yoga. It calms me down and replaces the munching I would be doing. Also cleaning. If I'm stressed I just get out the vacuum or mop and go to town!
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #9
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Make a list of things you can do when you feel the urge to stress eat.

Mine looks like this:
Sip Tea
Play on Facebook
Play with my son (we like to color together!)
Yoga
Dig in my yard/garden
Sit on the deck with my hubby (or friend)
Meet my friend for coffee
Meet my friend for a beer
Crosstitch
Make wine (this is a new thing I am trying!! I am currently working on dandelion wine and violet wine)
Go for a run
Go for a swim
Pour candles
Cleaning
Journaling
Word puzzles or sudoku


First of all - don't have 'junk' in the house. If it isn't there - you can't eat it. Two - make a regualr date with someone or sign up for a class (like watercolor painting - or whatever tickles your fancy). If you have a friend who expects to see you or a class you are registered for, it will guarentee an evening you won't stress eat.
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Last edited by SCraver : 05-11-2011 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:11 PM   #10
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If I am genuinely not hungry, oftentimes knitting and turning on a movie helps, or reading a book. Cleaning and exercising are also good techniques. Gum chewing can help. Altoid popping. Etc etc.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #11
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Oh, this is a tough one for me! I'm very much an emotional eater. My best strategy is to remove myself from the food....I go upstairs to my room. And, take a nice warm bath with a yummy book. Or, I go to bed early. If I can ride out the storm, I'm usually much better off the next day.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdruger View Post
When that urge inside me say I gotta have something I say to myself " there has got to be something else better then eating" then i go off and try to find it!
i HEART this quote!
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:50 PM   #13
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This is a really tough one for me too. I don't know if anyone else is like this, but I don't immediately run for the cupboard at the first sign of stress. What happens to me is that if I'm under a lot of general stress for a long period of time, I start finding myself nibbling, then nibbling more, and sometimes on to full-out binging....

The one thing that really really helps me is to make sure I get exercise every single day-- and not just a walk around the block, but a real workout.

Whenever I start slacking on my workouts, my stress level goes up and I start to stress eat, and the more stressed I am, the more likely I am to skip workouts.

I've also been experimenting with a variation on sdruger's suggestion, and I repeat to myself "if hunger is not the problem, then food is not the answer."
And that seems to be helping, forcing me to ask myself if in fact hunger is the problem. Oddly enough, I'm actually really good at resisting real hunger-- I can ignore it. It's the desire to stress eat that is harder for me to control.

Third, when I'm stressed, I seem to like to chew, so I do have pretty good luck popping gum, or sometimes eating pumpkin seeds and that will often take care of the craving to put something in my mouth.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:42 PM   #14
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Thank You All for the Support and Advice! I will just keep working at it. Going thru alot of Stress right now. But it's getting better.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:50 PM   #15
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Sometimes when I am stressed I think of the Five D's (I call them)

Drink - water, tea, coffee, etc.
Distractions - crafts, read, take a walk, play with dog, computer etc
Distance - get away from the food.... - walk the dog, go outside, etc.
Deep breathing - take some deep breaths to calm yourself
Destroy - better to dump dish soap on an unplanned food you are about to eat -- than to eat it.
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