Almost everyone has time periods when they overeat, especially when they are stressed. We often turn to treats for comfort, and then wind up feeling guilty (on top of being stressed) about what we just ate. Here are Health Fitness Revolution’s healthier strategies to reduce your stress and overeating:
- Talk about what’s stressing you out instead of losing yourself in the fridge or the pantry: Everyone feels better in action than when brooding. While you can’t completely rid your life of the causes of stress, you can take the time to ask yourself how you can make things better, and talking about it often helps. It can help you get in a proactive state to do something about your stress level. Is there some action you can take to minimize your stress? You can get better at controlling how you think, so practice choosing the positive.
- Choose healthy foods alternatives: When you’re stressed out, you are producing higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make you crave sweets and salty foods. Instead of trying to fight it, select sweet or salty food that’s healthy for you. Make fruit smoothies instead of eating cookies and try snacking on some healthy nuts instead of chips.
- Do one thing you love every day: Don’t let too many days go by without doing something you love. In fact, try to do at least one thing that you love daily. Catch up a friend, take a walk under the stars, take a bubble bath, get a full night’s sleep, sip your favorite kind of coffee.
- Don’t buy foods you have a difficult time avoiding in your house: The easiest way to avoid temptation is to not have it around – and not buy it at the grocery store. Don’t create a will power challenge in your own home. Be kinder to yourself by making it easier for you to stick to healthier items. Make it easy to choose healthy by keep healthy snacks on hand so you can easily turn to healthy options first.
- Once a week, have a cheat meal/indulgence: We believe in balance and enjoying life – choose one meal or snack where you eat what you want, and get back to healthier eating for your next meal. It’s called planned indulgence and it’s your permission slip to indulge and enjoy – a guilt-free zone you schedule – so you are in control. It makes staying on track the rest of the week easier.
- Empower yourself with exercise: We preach this constantly, but exercise really is one of the best ways to elevate your mood and alleviate stress. Really sweat the stress out. Aim for those endorphins and watch what they do to reduce your stress, boost your mood and give you some mental clarity.
- Take a time out: To breathe, compose yourself, and relax. Whether it’s meditation or yoga or simply sitting in a comfy chair and clearing your mind, focus on your breathing and unplug from technology and the daily hustle and bustle. Zoning out in quiet will help you recharge and lower your stress levels.