Are you a mom who has often found herself stress eating? Motherhood is HARD and I would be lying if I said I didn’t understand. I’ve also been there but thankfully a few months ago, I made the commitment to live a healthier lifestyle and to lose weight — nearly 30 pounds, to be exact! I’m so proud of my progress and these seven tips to stop stress eating have literally changed my life. I have finally found the key to eating to fuel and not eating to indulge!
Mindfulness is Key
If you truly want to stop stress eating, you first need to be honest with yourself and admit that you could potentially have an unhealthy relationship with food.
When you eat, ask yourself a few questions:
1. Am I eating out of habit?
2. Am I eating to fill a void?
3. Am I stressed, angry, or frustrated?
4. Am I being influenced?
Studies have shown that being mindful while eating severely reduces the risk of both overindulging and emotional eating. It is important to not become distracted during meal times; such as sitting in front of a television or during social interactions.
Being mindful of how much you are eating and stopping when you are full will get you so far on this journey.
Meal Plan and Prep
I know meal planning and prepping may sound scary but trust me, once you get into the habit of planning and prepping a week’s worth of meals at a time; you will notice a few things:
1. You buy and use a majority of the weeks’ food when you prep, which leaves less food out to be snacked on.
2. Writing down the meals you intend to eat helps to keep you on track by giving you a visual of your weekly plan.
3. By prepping each meal, you can pre-select how much food to portion out which will help to eliminate the risk of overeating.
Here are a few of my meal planning must-haves:
If you are searching for healthy recipes, be sure to check these out!
Schedule Meals to Stop Stress Eating
Going right along with meal planning, it may be a good idea for you to schedule your meals. Having a consistent schedule helps to eliminate unpredictability, which, in turn, will help you to stay on course with your healthy eating routine.
If you use a planner, you could simply pencil in your meal times so you don’t forget to eat. I know, as a mom, I get distracted about 80% of my day, so it really helps having a planer with an hourly breakdown and plenty of writing space. This is the planner I use and I love it!
Break Bad Habits
Have you ever snuck food? Do you gorge and eat until you can’t move? Is fast food something you indulge in regularly?
All of these are considered bad eating habits but the good news is each of the is easy to break!
By meal prepping, you can easily eliminate all of these bad habits and create a healthy routine where you eat healthy and wholesome meals at home without stopping to get something quick.
Cut Cravings to Stop Stress Eating
I was addicted to sugar. Trust me because I don’t say that lightly. It’s hard to admit, but I was.
Truth bomb: I once ate entire package of Oreos in one sitting.
AN ENTIRE PACKAGE!
The biggest factor for me in cutting my sugar intake was to find a healthier alternative. That’s where my superfood shakes come in! These meal replacement shakes have literally changed my life.
When I first considered adding in a meal replacement shake, I was so hesitant. Would it work? How would it taste? Is it worth the money?
I’m so happy I gave in and purchased it!
When I would get a sugar craving, I would make my favorite chocolate shake recipe, or even have a superfoods mug cake after dinner if I was craving dessert! I’m not kidding when I say this stuff literally changed my life.
Stop Stress Eating by Keeping Snacks On-Hand
While I can’t stress enough how important meal prepping is, I also want to remind you that you should be eating 4-6 times per day. It may not make sense to prep all of those meals, so be sure to keep snacks on-hand when you will be away from home.
By keeping snacks easily accessible, you will prevent the all-too-known “hanger”, which will, in turn, help you to reduce the risk of overeating. When we get too hungry and when our blood sugar dips, we tend to gorge and eat the first thing we can get our hands on — and when we are out at sporting events with the kids or running errands, that is usually fast food.
In addition, instead of having a pantry of snack-friendly food, fill your refrigerator up with fresh fruits and veggies; that way when you are tempted to snack, you have healthy options to choose from.
A few of my favorite snacks to have on hand include:
Stress eating most often occurs after, you guess it, stress. By finding a relaxation technique that works for you, you will give yourself the ability to face life’s stressors without feeling the need to run straight to your pantry,
A few ideas of relaxation techniques include practicing yoga, deep breathing, aromatherapy, or stepping away from the situation and giving yourself a few moments to gather your thoughts.
Know You Are Worth It!
My hope for you after reading these seven tips to stop stress eating and that you realize you are worth the time and effort it takes to live a healthier lifestyle.
With motherhood being as busy at it is, it’s sometimes easy to put our own wants and needs on the back burner but, mama, let me tell you; this isn’t just about your happiness, this is also about your health.
If at any time you need additional support, here are a few resources you may find helpful:
Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is a 12-step program, similar to that of AA or NA. With meetings offered worldwide, this is the largest and most popular resource.
GreySheeters Anonymous (GSA) is a group of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other; so they can overcome their compulsive eating. Similar to OA, GSA also includes a meal plan and weigh-ins.
I can’t wait to hear from you and remember, you are worth it, mama!