You may have been surprised in our video above when Coach Justin gives permission to stress eat.
Counterintuitive and seemingly counterproductive, I know. But this is going to be important for two reasons.
How to Approach Stress Eating Step #1: we need to curb the guilty feelings about stress or emotional eating.
I started this guide off by highlighting the frequency of stress eating amongst our Online Coaching clients.
You are not the only one struggling with this.
Most humans do.
We’ll come back to this idea again, because ending the shame of emotional eating will be critical for moving forward.
How to Approach Stress Eating Step #1: allowing ourselves to stress eat will help us learn why we do it.
We’re going to be playing detective here, to see if we can piece apart your actions and routines.
At the end of the day, our lives are a cumulation of habits. Stress eating is one such habit.
So let’s learn about it!
To do so, we’re gonna record some Emotional Eating Notes.
During an episode of stress eating, it’s important to ask ourselves:
- What am I doing?
- What am I feeling? (Both physically and emotionally)
- What am I thinking about?
- What time is it?
- Where am I?
- Who am I with?
Ideally, we’ll start to ask yourself these questions:
- An hour or two before the eating episode
- Right before it
- During it
- Right after it
The purpose of these Emotional Eating Notes?
To look for patterns!
Perhaps you’ll notice some of the following:
- “After my recent Tuesday morning conference call, when I got grilled by my company’s leadership, I grabbed some chocolate chip cookies. This happened the week before too.”
- “Around 2pm, when I get the ‘afternoon slumps,’ I normally grab a Coca-Cola. This little boost gets me through the end of the day. This is almost a daily practice.”
- “Last Sunday evening, when thinking about the start of the workweek, I had a couple glasses of wine. When looking back at my notes, this takes place at the end of most weekends.”
We’re looking for patterns to help us understand what drives our stress eating.
The most important thing about this process: withholding judgment.
We’re looking at our notes for clues into our psyche. Whatever we captured is okay.
If you order pizza every Thursday after talking with your overbearing mom (of course, she means well), step one is to recognize it.
Oftentimes, this awareness step alone can help shift behavior. “Oh, I’m reaching for a beer like I normally do after ending my workday. Typical Me.”
After creating some notes on what spurs our emotional eating, it’s time to think about some alternatives for coping with stress.