All stress eating is not the same.
As a matter of fact, studies have found that there are two distinct patterns when it comes to stress eating.
According to scientists stress eaters fall into one of two categories, munchers or skippers.
Munchers are the type of stress eaters that eat after a negative experience.
Skippers on the other hand eat after something positive has happened.
Munchers also eat about one-third more calories than skippers.
Once you become aware of the type of stress eater you are, then and only then can you take the steps to start controlling those habits.
Here are a few strategies for munchers, skippers, and anyone who struggles with any type of stress eating behavior.
Strategies For Munchers
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Sometimes life gets hard. And when you go through a negative situation the easiest thing to do is eat.
Instead of turning to food for comfort take a minute to remember all your blessings.
Yes you may be going through right now, but thank God you are still alive.
Think about all the wonderful things you have been able to accomplish in your life.
Talk to yourself about how strong and resilient you are.
Doing so is a great way to combat those negative emotions that often lead to comfort eating.
Learn To Look On The Bright Side
This is of course a lot easier said than done.
When life keeps throwing blow after blow seeing the bright side is very difficult to do.
But that doesn’t mean its impossible.
No matter what you are going through, learn to look on the bright side.
You may not be where you want to be right now, but tomorrow is a new opportunity to work towards your goal.
As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine.
And if you have a stress eating problem, learning to laugh more can certainly do you some good.
If you stop and think for a minute, you may find that there is some humor in some of the stressful situations you are going through.
Practice Self Compassion
This by far is one of the most important things to keep in mind if you struggle with stress eating.
Especially for those who are considered munchers.
There will be times when your emotions get the best of you and you turn to food for comfort.
When this happens, don’t beat yourself up.
You should instead choose to show yourself a little compassion.
Always remember that your feelings are valid.
Finding a way to express your emotions can prevent you from turning to food for comfort.
Strategies For Skippers
Put Things Into Perspective
As a skipper you are more likely to eat when you are excited about something.
And while it is perfectly natural to get excited about certain things, you must learn how to put that excitement into perspective.
Learn how to manage your emotions and thoughts so you won’t overdo it.
Share Your Joy With Others
Instead of celebrating alone start sharing your joy with others.
Doing something constructive such as volunteering at a shelter will do more for you than any piece of food.
Have a Celebration That Doesn’t Involve Food
Most people go out and celebrate with food and drinks.
And while there is nothing wrong with celebrating with food, its not something you want to do all the time.
Next time you want to celebrate something, consider taking a weekend trip.
Be Careful During The Holidays
During the holidays most people gain around 2 pounds. In some cases much more.
This small weight gain can add up over the course of a few years.
Its best to plan ahead during the holidays.
This way you will be less likely to over indulge.
Strategies For All Emotional Eaters
If you are an emotional eater of any kind, there are a few things you can do to combat it.
The first thing you should do is start journaling.
Keeping a journal gives you an outlet to freely express your feelings.
Not dealing with your emotions is what leads to emotional eating.
So no matter what you are feeling, write it down in your journal.
A journal also makes it easier for you to identify the things that trigger you to eat emotionally.
Knowing those triggers can help you better deal with them in the future.
Another strategy to combat emotional eating is exercise.
Exercising on a regular basis can help you counter emotional eating in a variety of different ways.
Not only does physical activity help you burn more calories, but it also suppresses your appetite.
Even better is the fact that exercise releases what is known as feel good hormones.
These hormones, technically known as endorphins, improve your mood which means you will be less likely to eat as a result of stress or other emotions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a muncher or a skipper, developing new and healthier habits is the key to breaking free from the stronghold of stress eating.