How to Stop Emotional Eating | Tips to Calm Stress Eating During Lockdown

How To Stop Emotional Eating
This page may contain affiliate links. I am not a doctor or qualified to give medical advice. I merely share what has worked for me.
I hope it can help you too x. Please read the disclaimer for more info.

Wondering how to stop emotional eating?. Many people find themselves reaching for food when under stress. Finding other means of comfort, doing things that you enjoy and find soothing may help you to get more control of your emotional eating.

It’s not that simple though.

We all know it isn’t as simple as that. At the moment, around the globe, many people are under lockdown conditions due to the Corona Virus Pandemic.

Here in the UK we are confined to our houses, except for a short period of exercise every day and collecting essentials such as food or medicines.

Many people have had to stop work or close their businesses. They may be facing financial dire straits and mounting debt, despite some government help.

Others are still working in jobs that put them in potential contact with the virus, often without protective equipment. Everyone is going a little stir crazy.

It’s a very stressful time for everyone.







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What is wrong with me. I can’t stop eating!

Speaking with friends I have been noticing a common theme. People are asking “What is wrong with me I can’t stop eating?” We are all relying on comfort foods to help us feel calm and in control in this strangest of times.

Myself and Mr CT definitely got over-reliant on sharing large bowls of Nachos with sour cream dip whilst binge-watching Netflix in the early days of the lockdown.

We had to come to a serious pact to not buy these when we ventured out for our shopping There was clearly only one way that was going to end and that was having no clothes that fit when we escape our incarceration!.

Drinking for England

It’s the same with booze. I have friends who are drinking for England at the moment due to the stress.

Our local bottle bank has overflowed onto the surrounding area, thousands of wine and beer bottles flowing across the supermarket car park where it stands.

If you are struggling with keeping control of your drinking at the moment you might find this post I wrote about how I cut back on drinking helpful.

ALCOHOL AND MENOPAUSE. HOW I CUT DOWN DRINKING AT MIDLIFE & SAW MY LIFE AND HEALTH IMPROVE!

Why do we overeat when stressed?

The strange mixture of stress and boredom that comes with this lockdown is making emotional eating a problem for many people I have spoken to.

The stress leads to a kind of feeling of emptiness. An emotional void to be filled. The kind of food you enjoy can give you a bit of a lift and make things feel a tiny bit better just for a while at least.

Without the structure of work or evening activities to look forward to, food can become the most exciting thing to do at the end of the day.

On top of this…

  • It’s hard to engage in social activities that would otherwise relieve stress. You can’t go to the gym or meet friends at a local class
  • It’s harder to access fresh food so high carb storable foods such as crisps become staples.
  • The entertainment we can access, watching TV, can be associated with snacking in your mind.
  • Cortisol levels can change due to stress which can lead to cravings.

It’s no wonder we are all struggling…

How can I stop eating emotionally?

So if you feel that these issues have been affecting you, there are a few things that you can do to get back in control of your emotional eating.

Keep a food diary

This is a great strategy for just being realistic about your eating. Get a nice notebook and note down the following every time you eat something.

  • When you eat
  • What you eat
  • How much you eat
  • How hungry you are
  • And most importantly, how you are feeling.

Look through the diary and try and spot patterns of when you are overeating and what triggers it.

Journal your stress

Journalling is an amazing way to externalise your stress and make it controllable. If you are feeling overwhelmed with everything that is going on, buy a nice journal and start to work through your feelings.

I use journalling a LOT in my own life to work through issues.

I designed some planner pages for my own journaling which you can download for free here.

HOW TO FOCUS ON YOURSELF WHEN THE WORLD DEMANDS TOO MUCH EVERY DAY – FREE PLANNER

Also check out my favourite Leuchtturm journals on amazon here.

 

VIEW ON AMAZON

Remove temptation

As mentioned above, myself and Mr CT had to ban Nachos and cream cheese as we knew we were powerless to resist its salty crunchy charm. Sometimes, the best and most simple way is just not to put yourself in the way of temptation.

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What can you do instead of stress eating?

You turn to food as a comfort when times are stressful. The food gives the feeling of safety and comfort. Therefore, in order not to overeat its a good idea to put your own comfort strategy in place.

What is a comfort strategy?

A Comfort Strategy is a plan you put in place to provide an alternative source of comfort other than food.

Food is a quick easy and convenient source of comfort, so your strategy needs to be the same.

It needs to be something you love that you can reach out to quickly when you feel a craving to snack.

At the moment, you may be limited to things that you can do within the house or the confines of lockdown, but there is a lot that you can do even with those constraints.

Your comfort strategy is unique to you. Its what YOU find comforting.

What a comfort strategy is not.

A comfort strategy needs to be comprised of things that you enjoy and find comforting. It shouldn’t comprise of things that you “should” do, like completing your tax returns or tidying the loft. You aren’t going to want to reach for those things when you feel stressed and full of cravings.

Some suggestions to start your Comfort Strategy

I’ve just put together a list of ideas that you may find a good starting point to start compiling your own list. Remember, its things that YOU find comforting. Everyone is different.

  1. Call a friend
  2. Join an online support group
  3. Go for a walk {if you are allowed outside}
  4. Dance to crazy music for 10 minutes
  5. Journal
  6. Knit or crochet
  7. Draw in a sketchbook
  8. Try meditation
  9. Paint
  10. Read
  11. Join an online course and do one section of it
  12. Write a book
  13. Play a musical instrument
  14. Stroke and talk to a pet
  15. Do some gardening
  16. Look at the stars {download an app that tells you what the planets are that you are looking at}
  17. Take photos of beautiful objects around your house.
  18. Try a new recipe
  19. Take a luxurious bath
  20. Write a gratitude list

I hope this gives you a few ideas for creating a comfort strategy of your own to cope with general stress and overeating.

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Many of the things I learnt in my research are helping with keeping my weight under control during the lockdown.

I hope the world will soon come through the Corona Virus pandemic and we will all start to feel less stressed and worried. Hoping you stay safe and happy at this time

Love and light

 

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Helen

Menopause and Perimenopause can be a tricky time to pass through. I certainly had a turbulent journey. I learnt a lot from my intense battle. I rediscovered my Menopause Mojo and you can too. I truly believe that Menopause can be the start of the best part of your life. I am an Artist, Certified Transformation Life Coach, Holistic Health Coach, Hypnosis practitioner and woman's health researcher. NB. I am not a doctor or qualified to give medical advice. I merely share what has worked for me. I hope it can help you too. x