Zero Weight Gain Holiday Challenge

Combating Stress-Induced and Mindless Eating

stress Do you eat when you are stressed or bored? It’s amazing how many calories we can consume standing in the kitchen or mindlessly eating in front of the TV or computer. Here are some ways to overcome these tendencies:
To combat stress:
Breathe! You can do this anywhere – even on a crowded highway or during a meeting. Slow down and sit or stand up straight. Breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your lips. Breathe in deeply so your abdomen fills like a balloon. This is how babies breathe when they sleep. You will feel the tension ease if you do this several times. Definitely do this before you indulge in a comfort food or start eating mindlessly in front of the TV or computer.
Get active. Take a walk, dance to your favorite music or go to an exercise class to release stress quickly. You will be surprised how a major upset shrinks to a manageable irritation once you finish.
Write it down. Keep a journal or just write yourself a letter about your stress on the computer. Get it all out and then let it sit for a few minutes. When you re-read it, you will feel more objective about the situation.
Take a hot bath or shower. It’s amazing how water can wash away anxiety and relax tense muscles.
Drink some herbal tea. This will soothe tight neck and shoulder muscles and warm up your stomach so you feel less hungry.

To combat mindless eating:
Only eat while sitting at the table in your kitchen or dining room.
Keep temptation and comfort foods out of the house or at least out-of-sight.

eating utensilsUse a plate or bowl and fork or spoon to eat everything – no eating with just your hands or out of food containers.
At a party, get your food and drink and then sit away from the table so you will not continue to munch and drink without thinking.
Log what you plan to eat or drink before you consume it.