We all get hungry. That’s a natural, biological function. However, self-help author Marla Ahlgrimm explains that many of us also eat during times of high stress. Emotional eating can cause bloating, weight gain, and gastrointestinal issues. Fortunately, there are ways to step aside and walk right past the stress snacks.
Today, Marla Ahlgrimm shares tips.
Awareness in the moment is crucial to curb emotional eating, says Marla Ahlgrimm. As you reach for that bag of chips, ask yourself if you are eating for hunger or if you are simply looking for a distraction. Pay attention to the days and times you reach for empty calories, and keep a journal to help you pay attention to the pattern so that you can make lifestyle changes to help overcome all that ails you.
Determine if your cravings are linked to your menstrual cycle.
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that some women experience an increased appetite in the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. For women with PMS, their levels may be elevated, and they might think their added hunger is due to their emotions. Pay attention to patterns here as well. If you notice that you're hungry and eating more often in the days leading up to your period, then it may be hormonal and not stress.
Plan your snacks.
One of the most effective techniques to avoid stress eating is to plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Marla Ahlgrimm says that you don’t necessarily have to follow conventional eating times. You may want breakfast closer to 10 AM and then choose to have a light lunch a few hours later. Plan your eating times around when you’re hungry and you need the most energy, not just based on the clock.