Overeating when stressed is especially detrimental if you are feeling stressed out a lot. It not only releases cortisol hormones into the body, which makes it more difficult to burn fat, but it also sends many of us the mental signals that we want to eat in order to feel some comfort.
For some people, this means gorging on foods like sweets and fatty snacks, until they’ve eaten three times the calories that they should in a day. For others, overeating when stressed can mean that all of those smart food choices are thrown out the window and even though that awesome salad has already been made and is just waiting for you in the fridge, you’ll still opt to order in a pizza.
Fear not! There is a way to get back to healthy dieting even when your stress levels are brimming. The key is to stick to some very effective stress busting techniques so that you will get at the problem at its source. Once you have focused on busting your stress, you’ll find that it is much easier to stick to your weight loss routine.
Consider the following stressful situations and how you can overcome them to avoid overeating when stressed:
• Drowning under an ultra tight deadline – you may feel as though you should chug the coffee, go to bed late and wake up early, but that will actually hurt not only your weight but also your productivity. Instead, drink green tea, get a good night of sleep, and get up every thirty minutes just to stretch and do a mini-meditation for a couple of minutes. You’ll be shocked at the energy and clarity it brings.
• The kids are sick – you may want to just eat whatever is there because you’re not cooking for the whole family, you’ll stress over work you’re missing, and you’ll want to skip your exercises, but instead, do some yoga or pilates while the kids are napping. Take your own naps if you can. Ask a co-worker to cover your tasks and offer to pay them back at another time (and then live up to that promise if you ever want to have that help available to you again).
• A fight with a friend or partner – the natural inclination is to stew over it, spend time alone, skip your workout, and eat a lot of junk food followed by slightly too much wine. Instead, call up a friend and vent it all out. Go for a brisk walk to burn through all that pent-up energy. Rebuild yourself and give yourself the healthiest meal that you possibly can. Make a project out of the ideal nutrition. This will help you to sleep better, wake up refreshed, and then patch things up as quickly as you can.