Expert tips for kicking stress-induced cravings to the curb.
By Paige Greenfield
Photo: Maya Visnyei
Are you an emotional eater? Here are six surefire ways to keep your emotions and your waistline in check.
1. Know your triggers and locations. “Many people have hot spots for emotional eating, such as the living room couch or office desk,” says Susan Albers, PsyD, author of Eating Mindfully (New Harbinger, 2012). “Make a no-eating rule in those places so you have to eat somewhere else. This will help you stop the habit of overeating mindlessly in those spots.”
2. Shop smart. Limit the amount of comfort food you have available so you’re forced to address your emotions when they pop up instead of masking them with food.
3. Stock up on nuts. They’re a low–glycemic index food that helps keep your blood sugar stable to avoid the double whammy of feeling moody and hungry.
4. Drink water throughout the day. Dehydration is stressful on the body and results in the same neurochemical cascade as emotional stress, which can cause you to overeat, says Albers.
5. Exercise regularly. Choose activities that you enjoy. Not only do frequent workouts help to keep stress in check, but looking forward to your workouts is another way of coping with stress.
6. Soothe your senses. Stress can be over-stimulating to your senses, so seek out other things that bring you comfort besides food. Take a bath, wrap yourself up in a blanket and read a book, or simply turn off your mobile.