Breaking Bad (Habits) Part 1 | Stop Stress Eating
Life is all about making the right choices for yourself for good health and to enjoy yourself at the same time. That said, just because you’re having fun, it doesn’t mean you’re being good to yourself. The key is to find the right balance. I swear by this attitude and if I’m going to preach it to other people, then I’m certainly going to live by it for myself!
This is Part 1 in a three part series about bad habits I’ve identified in myself and have managed to break. I used different methods to break each bad habit, but there is a central theme of self-respect and self-love that flows throughout all three.
The first bad habit I decided to break was a big one: stress eating. It’s always been a part of my life but it came to the point that I was facing some very stressful times over several months. As a result, I was allowing myself to give in to stress eating cravings on a pretty regular basis. I gained weight. I felt exhausted a lot of the time. I struggled with feelings of depression. I know it was partly because of the stresses in my life but a lot of it had to do with the junk I was continually feeding into my body.
Here are the steps I took to stop reaching for sweets – chocolates, donut holes, muffins, croissants – when cravings struck from the stress I was experiencing.
• Acknowledge my feelings of stress
Whenever I was thinking about having something that wasn’t necessarily good for me on a nutritional level, I asked myself “how am I feeling right now?” “Where is my stress on a scale of 1 to 10?” “What do I want from this treat?” “Will this treat make me feel better?” By becoming aware of what was driving my choices, it made it easier to skip the sweets.
• Find alternatives for the craving
That said, just because I was aware that stress was driving my craving, it didn’t necessarily make the craving go away. It just gave me the chance to make a new choice – a smarter choice. If I was craving sweets, I’d go ahead and eat something sweet. But instead of a milkshake, I’d blend lots of frozen berries with a touch of 1 percent milk. Instead of cookies or donut holes, I’d have a piece of whole grain rye toast with a quarter of a banana mashed onto it (don’t knock it until you try it – really). I built up a full arsenal of craving food alternatives.
• Give in, within reason
Sometimes when I wanted chocolate, I wanted chocolate. So instead of just going nuts and gorging on it, I’d break off two squares of very high quality dark chocolate. Then, I’d take small bites and eat mindfully, paying attention to flavor, texture and the entire experience of eating it. The two squares are enough. I don’t feel deprived, but I don’t end up kicking myself for eating lots of sweet foods I don’t need.
If you just can’t seem to break the bad habit of stress eating on your own, a visit to your doctor to get the Adipex diet pill could help. This is a prescription strength appetite suppressant that I’ve heard a lot of good things about. Be careful to ensure the changes made while taking it become good new habits. Curious about how I beat my next bad habit? Stay tuned for upcoming Breaking Bad (Habits) posts!