How to Stop Stress Eating: 3 Uncommon Tools for Ending Emotional Eating

This LEGO looks worried, probably considering he doesn't know what to eat.

All of us have plenty of stress in our lives.

In the modern world, it’s scrutinizingly a given.

If you find yourself responding by “stress eating,” know that you are not alone.

One of the top issues faced by clients in our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program is emotional or stress eating. It unquestionably seems to increase in occurrence year over year.

Today, we’re going to show you exactly how we write emotional eating with our clients, including when it’s – GASP – unquestionably okay to stress eat.

Here’s what we’ll imbricate in today’s guide:

Let’s jump right in.

What Is Stress Eating? (A Video from NF Kitchen)

The whilom video from Coach Justin comes from the Nerd Fitness Prime “Mindset” video series.

Justin covers three important lessons I want to highlight, but surpassing we do that, we should ask ourselves a question:

“What exactly is stress eating?”

Stress eating is consuming supplies in response to negative emotions like fear, anger, or sadness.

When we stress eat, supplies is stuff used to solve a problem. Now, unless we’re unquestionably hungry, it’s likely a problem that supplies itself isn’t meant to solve.

That’s stress or emotional eating.

Here’s what compounds the whole problem: stress eating itself can make us finger guilty. We often finger terrible once our spoon hits the marrow of the pint of ice cream.

This can momentum increasingly negative emotions, which can trigger plane MORE stress eating.

And the pattern continues.

A gif of Tina saying "I'm out of control."

We’ll talk well-nigh ways to unravel this trundling in a moment, but surpassing we do, we need to create some tools to identify it in the first place.

What Causes Stress Eating? (Lesson #1: Playing Detective)

a picture of Detective Pikachu

You may have been surprised in our video whilom when Coach Justin gives permission to stress eat.

Counterintuitive and seemingly counterproductive, I know. But this is going to be important for two reasons.

How to Approach Stress Eating:

Step #1: we need to prorogue the guilty feelings well-nigh stress or emotional eating.

I started this guide off by highlighting the frequency of stress eating amongst our Online Coaching clients.

You are not the only one struggling with this.

Most humans do.

And robots with human-like emotions and taste buds

A gif of Eva, who might be starving some supplies considering of stress.

We’ll come when to this idea again, considering ending the shame of emotional eating will be hair-trigger for moving forward.

Step #2: permitting ourselves to stress eat will help us learn why we do it.

We’re going to be playing detective here, to see if we can piece untied your deportment and routines.

This man's typesetting says "how to be a detective" so you know it's legit

At the end of the day, our lives are a cumulation of habits. Stress eating is one such habit.

So let’s learn well-nigh it!

To do so, we’re gonna record some Emotional Eating Notes.

During an episode of stress eating, it’s important to ask:

  • What am I doing?
  • What am I feeling? (Both physically and emotionally)
  • What am I thinking about?
  • What time is it?
  • Where am I?
  • Who am I with?

Also, gauging these at variegated times can be helpful too.

How is your stress looking:

  • An hour or two surpassing the eating episode?
  • Right surpassing it?
  • During it?
  • Right without it?

The purpose of these Emotional Eating Notes?

Look for patterns!

Detective Pikachu is holding up a magnifying glass in this gif.

Perhaps you’ll notice some of the following:

  • “After my recent Tuesday morning priming call, when I got grilled by my company’s leadership, I grabbed some chocolate tweedle cookies. This happened the week surpassing too.”
  • “Around 2pm, when I get the ‘afternoon slumps,’ I normally grab a Coca-Cola. This little uplift gets me through the end of the day. This is scrutinizingly a daily practice.”
  • “Last Sunday evening, when thinking well-nigh the start of the work week, I had a couple of glasses of wine. When looking when at my notes, this takes place at the end of most weekends.”

We’re looking for patterns to help us understand what drives our stress eating.

The most important thing well-nigh this process: withholding judgment.

We’re looking at our notes for clues into our psyche. Whatever we captured is okay.

If you order pizza every Thursday without talking with your overbearing mom (of course, she ways well), step one is to recognize it.

Oftentimes, this sensation step vacated can help shift behavior. “Oh, I’m reaching for a beer like I normally do without ending my workday. Typical Me.”

After creating some notes on what spurs our emotional eating, it’s time to think well-nigh some alternatives for coping with stress.

How Do I Stop Mindless Eating? (Lesson #2: The Stress Response Menu)

This photo has two LEGO notation in it, with one holding their stress response menu.

After documenting what sets off our stress eating, we need to formulate a plan on what to do when our uneasiness rises.

That ways it’s time to build…a Stress Response Menu!

Our Stress Response Menu will be a list of deportment or activities you can do to de-stress outside of eating.

Ideally, you’ll do them surpassing an eating episode, but they can be washed-up during or without the fact too.

In other words, if you only realized you were stress eating when your hand reaches the marrow of the Doritos bag, no problem, you can do your stress response worriedness right then.

The purpose of the Stress Response Menu is to reward yourself with a small moment of self-love, whenever your uneasiness levels are too much.

Examples for a Stress Response Menu:

  • Close your vision and take five deep breaths (Coach Justin’s go-to move)
  • Drink a large glass of water
  • Take a short walk
  • Go listen to one of your favorite songs
  • Do a quick stretching routine
  • Write in your journal
  • Play with your dog
  • Shout at the sky

A gif of Grandpa Simpson shouting at a cloud.

The increasingly the worriedness from your Stress Response Menu can match your personal goals, the better.

In other words, if you’re trying to build muscle, some push-ups might be the perfect de-stressor.

Just make sure it’s something you won’t dread doing.

A combination of a “de-stressor” and a “reward.”

This is important, as Coach Justin mentions that many of his clients only reward themselves with food. The self-love they practice only takes place in the kitchen.

Our menu whilom will help us develop some increasingly options, not solely based on food.

To make the most of your Stress Response Menu:

#1) Make the activities short and easy.

You should finger confident that you can do every item on your list. So stave activities that will take longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Also, set yourself up for success by hacking your Batcave:

  • If you’re going to periodical when stressed, alimony your diary unshut on your work desk.
  • If you’re going to drink water surpassing any emotional eating, alimony your full glass near you.
  • If you’re going to take a short walk, alimony your kicks near the door.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by picking overly complicated or exacting activities.

#2) Place your Stress Response Menu somewhere visible.

Once you make your list, print it out and place it in your kitchen or pantry (or wherever you typically stress eat).

You could moreover write out a couple of your favorite activities and nail them to your refrigerator.

If it’s right in front of you, it’ll be harder to ignore (however, it’s okay to ignore it from time to time, as we aren’t striving for perfection).

Just please don’t write it and then stick the list in the junk drawer that opens to flipside dimension.

Yeah, don't put your stress response menu in a portal like this.

You never can find anything in that drawer.

#3)Track your usage of the Stress Response Menu.

This will help us in two ways:

  • First, by tracking your usage, you’ll start to finger largest well-nigh using the SRM. You’ll see an unifying of all the times you successfully deployed a stress response, helping you visualize the momentum you’re building.
  • Second, the data will help you understand your patterns of emotional eating. Maybe five deep breaths steered you yonder from ice surf but the large glass of water did not. You can then use this information to update and revise your response plan.

For the first point, Coach Justin has his clients alimony a “Jar of Awesome.”

Every time they have a small win in the day, like taking five deep breaths instead of chugging soda, they place a marble or small token in a jar. Without a while, the jar will have a decent value of marbles or “small wins” in it.

This will then stand as a visual reminder of all the progress stuff made, proof of their ongoing wins.

How Worldwide Is Stress Eating? (Lesson #3: Learning Self-Compassion)

This photo shows a sad clown on a psychiatrist couch.

The American Psychological Association has found that well-nigh a third of Americans respond to stress with food.[1]

This research was washed-up BEFORE the global pandemic.

If you find yourself binging in response to stress, know that you are not vacated here.

Heck, both clients and NF Coaches turn to supplies and swig for repletion every now and again.

Personally, somewhat recently I mindlessly devoured an unshortened tub of Animal Crackers without a stressful week. It was only when the bag was gone did I understand what just happened.

A gif of "the next day" from the mucosa the Hangover

So yep, many of us (even fitness “experts”) are prone to stress eating.

Now, don’t take this as a self-ruling pass to stress eat.

If the policies goes versus your goals, it’s something we want to work towards improving.

But there’s a reason they undeniability it “comfort food.” Supplies can often be used to make us happier.

At the end of the day, we’re all emotional tons of meat on this floating hunk of space rock, and we’re doing the weightier we can.

Give yourself a bit of a break, my friend.

You’re here, you’re reading, and you’re trying. That’s great!

This will bring me to my last point with our handy guide:

Is It Okay to Stress Eat? (Next Steps)

A LEGO pushing virtually a hot dog stand (with ice cream)

There are times when supplies is the perfect response to stress.

It’s something Coach Justin mentions in his video.

“Stress eating” might be towardly if:

  • After a long workday, a glass of wine with cheese helps you unwind.
  • To gloat the coming of the weekend, you have an ice surf party on Friday night.
  • The week once seems long, and it just started, “Taco Tuesday” might help you survive until Friday.

The important thing here?

“We are making a choice.”

We are choosing to deal with stress or uneasiness with food. By making it an intentional activity, we can remove the guilt virtually emotional eating.

Food can be fine as a reward, as long as it’s us executive the behavior, and not the supplies itself.

In addition, if we can recognize the whoopee (or plan for it), we can then retread our calories surpassing and without and not go off the rails.

(You can summate your recommended total daily calorie intake here, by the way!)

If it seems like you aren’t quite there yet, start with your Emotional Eating Notes and your Stress Response Menu.

Even just the process of taking notes on specific episodes of stress eating may be unbearable to slow lanugo the behavior.

Remember, no matter what happens:

  • You are not a bad person if you stress eat.
  • You are not a bad person if you forget to take notes.
  • You are not a bad person if you ignore your Stress Response Menu.

You are not a bad person (unless you’re a Death Eater, but come on, you know what side you’re on).

A gif of Voldermort looking mad and evil like

If you need any help withal the way, we are here for you.

We have three specific paths to protract with Nerd Fitness:

#1) Our Online Coaching program: a coaching program for rented people to help them make largest supplies choices, stay accountable, and get healthier, permanently.

As I said before, “stress eating” is the number one issue faced by our coaching clients, so we know exactly how to help recognize and write the habit.

You can schedule a self-ruling undeniability with our team so we can get to know you and see if our coaching program is right for you:

#2) If you want an word-for-word tabulation for leveling up your nutrition, trammels out Nerd Fitness Journey! Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise increasingly frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

If you follow our Mindset missions, you’ll learn to de-stress while earning XP! Sah-weeeet.

Try your self-ruling trial right here:

#3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.

Sign up in the box unelevated to enlist and get our Rebel Starter Kit, which includes all of our “work out at home” guides, the Nerd Fitness Nutrition Cheat Sheet, and much more!

Alright, I want to hear from you:

Have you been stress eating increasingly over the last year?

Do you have any tips or tricks to interrupt the pattern?

What’s your favorite way to de-stress?

Let me know in the comments!


P.S. Make sure you trammels out A Nerd’s Introduction to Mental Health for more.


Photo Source: Plant LEGO, beer5020 ©, Programmer, On the couch, LEGO hot dog stand,

The post How to Stop Stress Eating: 3 Uncommon Tools for Ending Emotional Eating first appeared on Nerd Fitness.


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