How to Deal with Stress Eating?

  • How to Deal with Stress Eating? I should be finding out soon if my Dad's Cancer is back. I'm getting to the gym some. But my Food Plan is not happening. I'm gaining a lot of weight in a short time. Any Ideas? Thank You!
  • If you are doing it at home, I would suggest cleaning your home to the best of your ability of any foods that are triggers for you. Sometimes when the only options you have are healthy foods, even a little stress eating won't do so much damage to your goals. If you do it outside of your home, I would suggest allowing yourself to feel the stress and just taking a moment to deal with the emotion. I feel like we stress eat because we are not allowing ourselves to actually deal with the issue, but eating doesn't solve the stress either and actually makes us sad that we are expanding.
  • Eat really healthy and clean.

    Exercise as much as you can. And consider group classes for a social element e.g. dancing.

    And drink alcohol.

    That pretty much deals with any level of stress life can throw at me.

  • SweetEpiphany Thank You for the response. I need to feel my emotions rather than stuffing myself with food. Which ends up only being a temporary relief.

    Ian Thank You for the response. I have been wanting to do some dance videos or play music and start dancing to it. It would be a more fun workout. I plan on starting a walking plan with my sister-in-law. I don't drink very often. But usually limit myself to one beer or one glass of wine.
  • VickieLou Sorry to hear about you Dad's situation. Adding to the above suggestions for cleaning out the house and fun exercise, there are some audio things out there that have been helpful. Here's a couple I liked:
    Jon Kabat Zinn Wherever you go there you are It's about mindfulness, and he has a pleasant voice, so just listening whether or not you think you want to practice is helpful.
    Also Belleruth Naperstek has a lot of guided meditations & affirmations that I found hepful. You can listen to them in the background, not necessary to sit and pay close attention. If you like, I can dig up the link to a free download site that a kind person posted on another thread.

    I'm also working on stress eating, and find that I do better when I plan for some me-time each & every day.

  • Sundove Thank Your for Your response. I really like affirmations. I'm on another diet website that has alot of them I put on my home page. I just need to read them more often. I forgot I do have a cassette tape some where with guided meditations. Thank You!
  • vickilou Well I cant claim to be always successful at it. The times I have successfully dealt with stress eating have usually required a few tactics.
    1) everytime you cook, cook and freeze leftovers so you have ready to go meals whenever you have too much to deal with to cook.
    2) on the same line, sometime, in a reasonably calm time, figure out a few acceptable options for take-out or pre-prepped food. Not perfect, but acceptable. (for example, my local mexican restaurant will leave out the tortilla strips of the tortilla soup if I ask,and they put the sour cream and cheese on the side. So it is really a chicken/tomato broth soup, an order of that with some avocado is fast and filling and comforting)
    3) When you have time cut up tons of veggies so that in a stress fueled food-grab they are the easiest thing to reach. It's really hard to do too much damage angrily mainlining carrot sticks.
    4) know or estimate your maintenance calories and have a healthy plan that is closer to those calories for the worst days. Sometimes you just NEED extra fuel to deal - not as an eating your emotions, but as in dieting can be an added stressor on the body. Adrenalin and other hormones from stress can be driving an extra legit fuel need. Rather than mainlining cookies at the end of the day, adding 3-400 strategic nutritious calories through the day can both help you manage your stress and get you positioned to get back on track seamlessly.

  • Ennay Thank You for Your response. I need to plan better with my food. I don't freeze many meals. I need to eat more raw vegetables and fruit.
  • Vickie: Part of it is you need someone to support you during this time - as in an outlet to talk/cry. Been there - I had a friend who went walking with me a few times a week. Part of the conversation was about my parent who was dying but the rest was just of nonsense. It helped a lot and my weight went down and not up. It's hard when you have a parent who is sick and you have no control over the outcome or the things happening. Be kind to yourself as you help them.

    For food: prep ahead and freeze especially if you are caregiving/visiting at the hospital, that way you know you have something good to come home to. You could also cut up a bunch of fresh veggies and store in the fridge that you can grab (my mom does this each weekend for the week ahead, sure it takes a bit of time, but she's got them ready whenever).

    Stress eating for me is a hard one to overcome especially with loss, I turn to the sweets more than anything else. If you know your triggers and what you usually turn to maybe rid yourself of such. I have tried myself, it's harder than heck to do and sometimes you find you have hopped in your car to go get what you have been avoiding but sometimes you can make it through without these items.

    Take care of yourself, let your dad know you love him and try the best that you can.

  • Thank You for Your Response Lemonthyme. I have Family and friends to talk to but use to stress eating. I try not to keep to many trigger foods at home. I have been having problems with fast food. I'm going to try to eat healthier like subway. My sister in law said she would walk with me. She walks a lot. I get to the gym some and lift weights and some cardio. It's warming up so plan on starting to ride my bike. Thanks for the to You too. I'm from WI too.
  • Stress eating is the hardest thing to break, IMO. It is a bad habit but very comforting to turn to food because it does make us feel better and calmer in the short term. I've found that exercise does, too. If I can just make myself get on the bike or out the door for a walk, I feel so much better in just 20 or 30 minutes. Try telling yourself that if you still feel the "need" to eat after the walk or biking, you can have a small portion of something comforting. Sometimes just a cup of hot tea will do the trick.

  • Thank You Lyn2007 for Your response. It's one of my worst habits of turning to food when I'm stressed or upset. I know if I can get my overeating under control I can reach my weight loss goal. I will try harder this week to get my overeating under control. I'm off to the gym.

  • I haven't been journaling my food and I know that would help me. So back to writing it down.
  • Vickie: well we finally have nice weather to get moving - I am on the north west coast of the state - so the storms missed us last night. Perhaps you will find time in your day to enjoy a walk outside. I know the smells of everything in bloom has been a nice compliment to my walks w/my LO. I hear you on counting calories - it'd be great if we could just set a counter internally that tells us we hit our limit, of course then we'd all be in good shape You have come this far - you can do this! Make one change to your day and stick with it for the next. I aim to get my water bottle full today and use that to push off the need for the bad things.

    It's nice you have someone you can go walking with, take her up on her offer to join you. You'll be surprised how quickly the miles and time go once you get going as you walk and talk. I have found it helps tremendously to have someone who can give you a bit of a challenge to keep up and help cheer you on as you get going.

  • Thank You Lemonthyme and all the rest of You for Your encouragement. I still haven't got my eating under control. Monday I'm going back to counting calories and carb cycling. I haven't been getting to the gym much. But plan on making a workout schedule for next week. I will be going to the gym soon today. I plan on going to rummage sales so will get some walking in too. I started a thread to help me be accountable for my weight gain called: Getting Back to Onderland.