Stress and Eating Right
Stress is deeply related to your eating habits. When you are stressed, you may tend to crave certain foods or overeat. Having a lot of stress in your life can cause your diet to go out of control.
Inversely, when you are calm and stress free, you can better adhere to your diet. You don’t have to fight as many cravings, and you can keep to your plan and achieve your goals much easier.
It is important to understand how stress affects your dieting and eating habits. If you want your diet to be successful, they you need to control your stress. Here’s how you can do just that.
Identify the Triggers
Everybody who experiences stress on a regular basis has certain triggers that set off that stress. These are occurrences, situations, locations or people who cause them to feel stressed. For some people, that stress comes directly from their diet. They are worried that they won’t be able to keep up with their diet, and then they start to falter in their dieting and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Other people experience stress at their place of employment. The job they have to do or their boss or their working conditions are stressful for them. So when they go on breaks or come home for work, they feel a compulsion to eat.
If you are going to get your stress under control, and therefore your eating as well, then you need to identify what triggers your stress. Maybe you need to take notes every time you feel stressed. Once you have a comprehensive list, you can start doing something about those triggers.
Stopping the Stress
If your stress comes from being around certain people, then you either need to stop going near those people or change the kind of relationship you have with them. This is not simple by any means, but it is certainly doable. You just have to be committed to changing the triggers that cause your stress and keep you from adhering to your diet.
Maybe the triggers are unavoidable. Maybe you are stressed out by the work you do. You shouldn’t quit your job just to keep your diet intact. Instead, try to get a new outlook about your job. Maybe one of your coworkers seems to really enjoy the same work. Find out what their secret is and see if you can apply it to your life. You can also make sure that once you are on a break or done with work that you are not tempted by cravings brought on by stress. Keep a healthy snack in your pockets or somewhere you can access it when you finish work.
Look at the other triggers you have identified and see how you can change your interactions with them. Either avoid them entirely or alter your relationship with them in some way. Not only will you reduce your stress, but you will have a much happier life.
Coping with Stress
Even if you identify all your triggers and deal with them appropriately to avoid as much stress as possible, you are still going to feel stressed at times. The changes you made to avoid your old triggers may create new triggers. Stress is a nearly inevitable part of your life.
So you are going to have to find some way to manage the stress once it appears. You don’t want to just let it control your diet for you. You can take control by telling yourself that the stress will pass soon. There are a number of mental tricks you can play on yourself or coping mechanisms you can use.
It will help to keep your goals in sight when stress manifests. You can do this by keeping a list of dieting benefits close by, or you can hang motivational posters around you. You need to look for ways to remind yourself as to why you are dieting.
You also need to limit your temptations. As mentioned before, try to keep healthy snacks on your person. This gives you something to go to when the stress hits. It is going to affect you, some way and somehow, but you can be prepared for it.