This is a very sensitive topic for me because over the years I’ve become a more anxious person which has slowly led me to stress eat and obsess over food. I never had a problem with food when I was in high school or college. It wasn’t until I came from my study abroad in France that I began having gut issues and allergies to food.
I thought this would be an important topic to talk about because I think a lot of people nowadays deal with stress eating whether at home or at work. For me it’s always been at work, I never stress at home, it’s the weirdest thing. I could be super stressed but if I’m home I’ll never think to reach for food. However, at work, because I sit at a desk all day I’m constantly thinking about food. I also work right next to Whole Foods which doesn’t help.
Now I will say I’ve always been a healthier snacker, I’m incredibly picky about my snacks and won’t munch on anything unhealthy regardless of my stress levels. My snacks are always any of the following:
- Dried organic mango from Whole Foods
- Dark chocolate almonds
- Coffee (is this considered a snack?)
- Medjool Dates
It’s not so much that I’m afraid of gaining weight from all the snacking but more so the fact that I don’t have control of my mind in a stressful situation and I let my emotions take over. My other concern with stress eating is that I overdo it every single time. I’ve learned to weigh my bags at Whole Foods when filling it with food from the bulk sections because I always overdo it and I’m not really the kind of person to eat a bite of something and save the rest for later. No sorry, not my style. It also probably doesn’t help that i overdo coffee
One of my worst moments happened last week where I was incredibly stressed and went to buy lunch at Greenlife Organic in my Miami. I couldn’t decide if to have an acai bowl, avocado toast or iced latte. So, guess what I did? I got all three and yes I ate all of it. That’s how stressed I was. And yes you could say it’s healthy and it’s not McDonald’s but at the end of the day, my emotions and current state of mind should not dictate what or how much I should eat. I’m so envious of my mother who is a light eater and never stress eats. I guess it’s due to the fact that she didn’t grow up in a generation where fitness and food was a major topic. In fact, she grew up in a country with little to no food so food was something she never put her focus on.
So a few things I’m doing to help me deal with my stress eating:
- Breath – super corny but I’ve noticed that when I’m stressed, I do things on autopilot and don’t take a second to breath
- Ask myself if I’m truly hungry – I’ve done this a lot int he past couple of days, am I hungry or just bored? Am I stressed or am I actually craving something?
- Recite a bible verse – I’m all about praying in times of need, find verses that will help you overcome the situation (“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25)
- Buy snacks in small amounts – I never buy a pack of trail mix because in reality it’s hard to eat 3 almonds and put the bag away, so from now on I’ll be buying the small packs so it helps in eating in moderation
- Finding other distractions – Instead of caving for food, distracting myself with other tasks such as reading, drinking water or even cleaning might help (I clean and organize when I’m stressed)
Do you guys deal with stress eating? How do you overcome it?