“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” –Benjamin FranklinOne important thing you can do to stop stress eating is to prepare! So, what do we mean by this?
Specifically, you need to understand and be aware of the triggers and create an environment for success.
Become Aware of People Triggers
Did you know people themselves can actually be triggers for emotional eating? What we mean by that is, people can trigger the stress response.
And as a result, you react by stress eating.These people can be a variety of relationships, like bosses, neighbors, friends, and yes, even family.
In fact, family members as a stressor seem to be even more prevalent as a result of the pandemic we are navigating.
More and more people are isolating themselves with their families, quarantining at home, working from home, etc.That said, knowing who triggers you will help you be mindful and one step ahead of your stress eating habit.It’s important to note that these people may not even be bad!
Your relationship with them may just bring about more stress than your other relationships.
So that’s the next step: be aware and mindful. This will help you realize WHY you may be having a stress craving.
Become Aware of Event Triggers
Job uncertainty, financial stress, broken relationships, fear of the unknown, the loss of a loved one, feeling alone–there are unfortunately plenty of events that can trigger stress, especially given the current situation of our world.
Like the advice above, being able to identify what events are causing you stress will help you be mindful and aware. This awareness factor alone will help give you a little edge on navigating your stress eating.
Create an Environment for Success
Studies and research shows that our environment influences our behavior and our actions and motivation to act.
So once you have identified your stressors, creating an environment for success is crucial.To put yourself in a position to fend off the stress eating temptation, focus on food proximity!
Having unhealthy food options easily accessible and close by can make it extremely difficult to resist when the temptation hits.
And when you start to eat a trigger food, it can be hard to stop until the bag/box of food is gone!
According to a 2018 study, placing those trigger foods as far away as possible can reduce the likelihood of consuming them.
So put those trigger foods in a spot that is hard to access. And, if possible, remove those trigger foods from your house.
Another tip that can help you stop stress eating is by keeping healthier trigger substitutes close by! If a Snickers bar is a trigger for you, keep some dark chocolate (like chocolate chips) on hand.
At the end of the day, our strongest suggestion would be to keep those trigger foods out of reach and out of your home is possible.