Lockdown has been tough on all of us, we have found ourselves in so many additional roles , we’ve been balancing working from home with, busy family schedules, housework all while dealing with the stress of all the uncertainty COVID-19 has brought us.
You might have noticed during this transition, that your general eating habits might have changed quite a bit. In fact, the fridge keeps calling your name and you are sick of all the lockdown weight gain meme’s as it’s a painful reminder that your pants are getting tighter.
You might be feeling confused as to why you are constantly snacking even when you are not hungry. This wasn’t an issue when you were working from the office? What might have changed then and why is this happening to you?
Stress eating has been on the rise since the first mention of lockdown. There has been verbal and unspoken panic in the air due to uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 situation and months of waiting out lockdown.
When we are hit with uncertainty, we feel up-rooted and unsafe, which can be very unsettling to the nervous system. When our nervous system is challenged, we can feel stress a lot easier and our bodies crave sugar to calm the nerves. Because stress feels uncomfortable, subconsciously we could be driven to snack more, even though we are not necessarily hungry.
Stress eating can feel a bit troublesome but there are some ways to curb it. Taking more of a compassionate approach and following these 3 easy steps will help manage your stress eating.
Start your day the right way
In order to start managing your stress, which is causing your overeating, we need to wake up with the intention to manage it.
Make sure to set the right tone for the day by starting your day with some me-time. This can be a 5-minute mantra, 10-minute yoga stretch, or a quick walk around the block before you start your day at your desk.
Drink a glass of water when you wake up followed by a nourishing breakfast, this will help balance your blood sugar, subsequently reducing cravings.
Plan for success
Hunger is one of the biggest causes of emotional eating, make sure that your snacks are portioned out for the week and bulk cook your meals so that you are not leaving your food choices to chance, especially when you are stressed. Planning your day properly can mitigate some overwhelm associated with our demanding lives, organise tasks into your calendar and make sure to schedule in some well-deserved relaxation time.
One of my clients battled with binge eating disorder for many years, within a week we pinpointed most of her overeating as a reaction to her stress and anxiety. Once we built awareness around her emotions causing her stress, her binge eating reduced dramatically and eventually stopped.
Become aware of how you feel, if you are in tune with your body and your thoughts, you can catch stress symptoms before it becomes unmanageable. Some of these symptoms include low energy, headaches, upset stomach and insomnia to name a few. Dealing with emotions throughout the day, as they arise will release any need for looking for comfort food later in the day
In short, stress eating can be frustrating, however, if we look at it as a symptom of the underlying issue (stress), there is hope for us to reduce its frequency and intensity.
Estelle Coombe-Heath is the #1 authority in helping career women overcome binge and overeating using my signature Quit binge eating formula. From a background in business analytics, Estelle now leads various programs on changing mindsets around eating and healthy food choices. She supports her clients to cultivate healthy eating habits and to build trust with food.
As a holistic health coach, Estelle infuses yoga, mindfulness and energy medicine into her consultations with clients. Passionate about holistic health, she sees yoga as a therapy for the mind and soul considering herself fortunate to facilitate yoga experiences. Estelle sessions encourage clients to dive into the self-transformation that health practices like positive mindset, yoga and meditation can provide.
Download Estelle’s 4 simple steps to stop emotional eating WITHOUT DIETING!!!