My snack cabinet at work:
|trail mix, pita chips, pistachios and more!|
This is something I constantly struggle with, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I came up with a list of tips that I find helpful when I'm stressed and the only thing I want to do is eat.
Tips for Avoiding Stress Eating
1. Keep a Food Journal
I completely believe in calories in versus calories out when it comes to weight management. I find it helpful to write down all of the calories consumed in a day and stick to a range. We are less likely to eat something unnecessary when we know we have to record it. There are a variety of online apps available for calorie counting, as well. My favorite is My Fitness Pal. It's very interactive and intuitive. There is also a section to include exercise and it adjusts your daily caloric allowance depending on how many calories you've burned.
2. Be Prepared with Snacks
If you work in a place where you're constantly inundated with doughnuts, cookies, cake, and all of that good stuff, be sure to have your own healthy snacks on hand. Trader Joe's sells little cookie packs that I like to keep handy in case I am craving one of the sweets in the kitchen. Trail mix is also very satisfying and filling if eaten in moderation. I buy the single serving packs or separate the bag into servings so I don't overindulge.
3. Take a Walk
When stress kicks in, stand up and take a walk. If you're at work, take a jaunt around the building or outside for some fresh air. It will distract you and give you the energy you may be lacking and craving from food. If you take the stairs a few times you'll even burn a few extra calories!
4. Drink Tea
Sometimes we just need something in our mouth and our bellies. Tea can satisfy that need, tastes delicious and doesn't cost us any calories from our daily budget.
5. Indulge in Other Ways
When we're stressed, we often indulge in food. Rather than consume unnecessary calories, indulge some other way. If you can afford it, schedule a massage or treat yourself to your favorite yoga class. It will give you something to look forward to and will ease some of the tension you're experiencing. If you're on a budget (like me) treat yourself to a trashy TV show that you feel too guilty to watch regularly, or a movie you've been dying to see. Whatever it is, treat yourself extra nice because clearly life is getting the best of you.
***Please note that I do not encourage you to obsess over calories or count them on a daily basis. I find it helpful when trying to get back on track or kick a bad habit.
I plan to stick to all of these in the coming weeks! I've been on a complete sweets kick since the holidays and it's time to stop constantly giving in.