5 Ways To Stop Stress Eating

November 3, 2011   23 Comments

Snack Girl is stressed out. That is not me in the photo above, but I feel this woman's pain.

Stop Stress Eating

My power is out at my house and it has been out for FOUR days. How are you still getting all the Snack Girl content that you love? A new friend of mine has power and is letting me use his office. THANKS, BILL!

My kids are home from school, I am cooking outside on our grill in the snow, and we are using candlelight and flashlights at night. We have a wood stove that (mostly) heats our house.

And, I feel exhausted. So, what do you think I have been doing? Chocolate, mashed potatoes, red wine, more chocolate, cookies, sausages, pie..........burp.

This particular situation is quite stressful and I feel I deserve some treats. Hey, Halloween got cancelled out here - can you believe it??!

Now, I am going to give myself a little break here for not grabbing a salad, but I will have to slow down on the chow if I want to fit into my jeans.

I don't think the problem of "Eating While Stressed" is a big problem if it happens once in a while. But, if you do it every day the extra calories can create, well, stress!

If you can tune into your body and realize that you are eating to SOOTHE yourself instead of feeding real hunger, you could lose a ton of weight without a real diet.

So, how do you soothe yourself if food is your favorite source of pleasure?

1. Close your eyes and think of something that gives you pleasure........What was it? For me, it is the sound of my children's laughter (I know that sounds corny).

I decided that I am going to make a recording on my iPod and play it when I am hungry for the wrong reasons.

Use the pleasure thing (that can be public) instead of food. Be creative!

2. Remove the foods that you eat for self-soothing from EASY reach. Leave those foods at the supermarket (you know which ones I am talking about).

When you reach for them and they are not there - you will become aware of the reason for your desire to munch. Perhaps you can solve the stress in a different way?

3. Change your life so you are less stressed. HA! That was so easy to write in a sentence, but so hard to do. Take it little step by little step. For example, listening to the news is stressful so do less of it.

4. Go give someone a hug. This is a touchy feeling answer and perhaps not possible - but to me there is nothing more soothing than a hug.

If there is no one around who is worthy of hug then close your eyes and imagine a hug from someone that deeply cares about you.

5. Read the book below: "50 Ways To Soothe Yourself Without Food" by Susan Albers. Keep this book in your kitchen and grab IT before you grab something else. There are a bunch of creative soothing ideas in this book.

How do you deal with "stress eating"?

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 23 )

So sorry you are stressed! Just wanted to say I've been in your situation before and it is NOT FUN. When the power comes back on though, you will have a new-found appreciation for electricity! :) I hope your power comes back on very, very soon. Hang in there!

Imagine a hug from me,weather back there this year has been crazy. Understand the stress, when I'm balancing 50 million things,taking 5 very deep slow breaths throughout the day helps a lot. Think breathe just breathe.

Hang in there! A lot of my friends in Western MA & NH are still without power too... Thanks to Bill you are still in your own house! A lot of them are working from Starbucks & Burger King - more temptations! Kudos for still getting out Snack Girl - we would have let you slide for a few days! (less stress).

Sorry to hear you have no power. :( I hope you get it back soon! Thank goodness you have a wood stove!!!

I solved my problem with stress eating by just giving into it, but being prepared. Husband likes to bring home cakes, cookies, etc. from Costco. He would normally eat some, and then leave them when he goes to work for me to be in the house all day with the stuff caring for two toddler aged kids one with special needs. Well, I started making him take them to work or risk throwing it out. One time I even immediately put it back in the trunk of his car the second it hit the house. We also cut cakes into small slices and freeze them and keep in an inconvenient freezer that I have to move stuff off of to get at things. We also freely give cakes, cookies, cupcakes, to our neighbors after we all have one.

The second thing I do that has helped besides getting the things out that I am most likely to grab, is to stock the house with things that are good for you that I can stress eat if the need arises. I once ate two large containers of strawberries from Costco in a 24 hr. period over the summer during a particularly stressful time. No harm done and arguably the vitamin C probably helped as well :) I tend to go in streaks of what sounds good and make sure it is always in the house. Currently it is granny smith apples with the peels on cut up into chunks and sprinkled with Saigon cinnamon. Again, delicious and no harm done. So, rid your house of all crap, try and mitigate anyone else (spouse, roommate, etc.) bringing any crap in, and make sure there is stuff on hand that is healthy if you do feel the need to stress eat. Good luck!

oh wow, i can't believe no power for 4 days! O__O i feel awfully spoiled...i'm so dependent on electricity it's not even funny >.< I can't imagine what i'd do if there's no power!

your #3 cracked me up because i just had a convo with a guy at work who's very interested/obsessive with world news, and on especially depressing topics like life expectancy, over population, and the Japanese nuclear power plant problem. Needless to say, i felt horribly depressed after talking to him. I was just telling my other coworker that "if I want to not stress, i should just stop talking to John!" LOL

I feel your pain, early evening without power is the early to go to bed, too hard to see to play games for very long and let's not talk about cold showers. Hmmm, crackers, cheese, lots of fresh and canned fruit, peanut butter & jam sandwiches. Yum, yum. :)

4 years ago when the midwest had the worst ever ice storm, we lost power for fifteen days. We had a gas fireplace and a generator to fuel a dual burner hotplate. I ate chocolate and at fast food places. I feel your pain. You dont want to drink water when its freezing inside your home. How about playing cards or a board game with your children. We did that because there was nothing else to do and it passed the time away.

Sending you warm hugs from southern NJ!

Hi. Kudos for recognizing this. And sympathy for your power outage. It's just not the same stress eating "healthy" so what I do is what I call the "combo binge." I put together some high fiber cereal and a few nuts and seeds (pumpkin is yummy) and I also make sure it's after a meal and I have protein in my system or I eat something that has protein (light string cheese, for example.) Then I eat the fiber and nuts/seeds so the fat and fiber start the satiety clock running and drink some water--THEN I add the sweets or potato chips I really wanted to binge on--usually I'm pretty stuffed in under 500 calories using this method without a blood sugar spike/drop, I get the psychological benefits of a binge.

I do have Susan Albers' book and find it helpful--but sometimes I am really stressed or tired and only a binge will do. But that only happens a couple times a week nowadays... not a whole lot and certainly not daily.

Awesome weight loss advice Sue!

I so feel your pain! I live in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and our electricity went out last Saturday from that heavy wet snow doing a lot of damage - trees down everywhere! I was really concerned about staying on my WW diet, but managed by eating wisely when I went out and not snacking too-o-o much at home in the cold. It was off for 3 days and I didn't lose weight this week, but I didn't gain either. Fortunately I didn't have much in the house that wasn't WW friendly :-) I also learned a lot about what I really want to eat these days and that big fat bagel with cream cheese at the coffee shop is no longer it (except I was so hungry I did eat it all!). Reading by flashlight wasn't too bad, but I really need to get one of those good camper lanterns to have on hand. And putting empty milk cartons of water in among the food in your freezer really does help to keep your food frozen for several days if the electricity goes out - I'm adding a few more this time.

I feel as you do Snackgirl. No power for 5 days,FINALLY it came back on today. No lights,

laundry piling up,no heat,no stores open,no gas stations open. Ugghh !! No school open,no adult day care...oh my gosh.....the list goes on and on. Yes,I've been stressed. Halloween gets canceled,and then I see all this remaining candy.Well,I ate some. And some more. jeans are tight.Oh...time to hit the gym next week. I do have stress eating. I know that.But I'll try and control it more. When I am nervous I eat,angry,and depressed.Wow...that sounds bad.

@Arlene - hang in there - this doesn't happen very often so give yourself a break. This will all be just a bad memory by January. (I hope :)

Hang in there, Snack Girl! We started homeschooling our oldest this year, so I have found myself snacking ALL morning while she's busy with schoolwork, and then when I go to work I don't have the chance to eat, so I have this awful cycle of over-eating/non-eating that I would REALLY like to stop. Thanks for your tips - I will be using these in the mornings to try to curb the snacking!

So sorry about you losing power. I'm from the "soda & TV generation" so I go into withdrawal w/o the TV. TG for battery radios. We live in Fla. & truly understand no power at times. Having candles can at times be romantical (as Paula says). I have stomach problems and, especially when traveling in a car on a trip, stop hurting sometimes w/ Lamaze breathing exercise...breath in nose, let out cleansing breath. It works. Uncooked veggies w/ ranch dressing is good. Peanut butter sandwiches (w/ bananas are good too) (or fluffer nutter) w/ all fruit jams. A battery operated little tv is also good. I am sending you lots of hugs! Don't worry; whatever you eat is for "survival!"

Besides, you seem like a person who could survive anything!!!!!

thank you for sharing. I needed this. it was helpful.

so feel your pain!!! hope you ll get well soon!!! be strong my girl!

Your point explained in this blog is addorable. Due to my daily busy schedule some times I get stressed and unable to focus on on eating schedule. Being stress is not good for our health.

Wow – that was impressive and encouraging. Thanks for sharing your authoritative opinion, practical hints.

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