Monday, 26 December 2011

Simple Tips to Avoid "Comfort Eating" As a Relief From Stress

Turning to food as a way of alleviating your stress, may temporarily create a feeling of lowering your stress levels, known as "comfort eating" but will put you on the road to ruin, creating more stress though poor health and low self esteem. It should definitely not be used as a long term solution.
Comfort eating often leads to eating, not just too much from a calories point of view, but eating all the wrong kinds of food to remain healthy. Most of us turn to the sort of foods that give us a temporary sense of feeling good, such as foods which are high in calorific value, foods that are sweet or ones full of bad fats.
The women amongst us tend to be more susceptible to "comfort eating" leading to a vicious circle of feeling good then feeling guilty for consuming what they have then turning again to food as a way of feeling "better" again.
Here are some quick tips to assist you in getting away from the downward spiral of emotional eating:
Listen To Your Body
Try to understand when your body is truly hungry and you are not just eating because you are feeling down.
Understand Why You Do It
Try keeping a diary of what you have just eaten and how you were feeling at the time. Also make a note of what you ate and how this made you feel afterwards. This will help you to recognize the signs of emotional eating and enable you to question your choice BEFORE you go there next time.
Taking Your Mind Off The Craving
Instead of just grabbing a quick bag of crisps or bar of chocolate try going out for a quick walk or talk to a member of your family about how you are feeling at that particular time. You can also try concentrating on something such as listening to your favourite music or reading. This will help to re-focus your mind away from that urge to "grab and eat".
Find Permanent Alternatives
You want to be looking at reducing your levels of stress via more healthy avenues such as taking on regular forms of exercise. This will release certain chemicals which will do the same job but in a much healthier way. Also, laughter is a great stress reliever as it to assists in the release of "good" chemicals from within the body which help combat stress and let off steam.
Be Aware When Eating
Rather than just eating, make the conscious effort to listen to your own body throughout the eating process. Make eating an enjoyable experience whilst eating healthily. Don't just do it habitually but be aware of all the sensations as you go about your daily meals. How do all of it taste, how does it make
you feel.
Clear Out Your Cupboards
Remove temptation by replacing unhealthy "snacky" type foods for a healthier option which will keep you fuller for longer. Most of us live our lives on habits. Once you make a conscious effort to change these old negative habits you will replace them with positive healthy ones which will then be reprogrammed
to your subconscious and you will soon be taking the healthy option without thinking about it.
Hopefully, these measures will go some way towards replacing your comfort eating habits with better stress busting alternatives.