If junk food is available, I will eat it. No question about it. I love chips, bread, cheese, and anything else that's going to cause all kinds of weight issues for me. And when I'm stressed, I will NOT eat in moderation. I will eat like a college football player after a six-hour long practice.
That's why I had to revamp my stress eating regimen. First, I had to get all of the junk food out of my house. This is tough, because my husband tries to sneak in bags of chips and hide them. But, I always find them. Also, if I'm desperate, I will turn to the Goldfish crackers and vanilla wafers that my kids love so much. But, if I am going to make my stress eating more healthy, it all has to go.
Once it's gone, I replace the junk foods with the following healthier alternatives:
1. Baby carrots and hummus. Crunch and a salty-ish flavor. Very satisfying.
2. Jicama. Crunchy yet sweet.
3. Avocado. Full of good fats, filling.
4. An apple and an orange. I make myself eat these things, especially if I've already been eating some of the other items on my list. They fill me up, and make sure I'm getting lots of good fiber and vitamins. If I'm tired of apples and oranges, I'll swap them for pears and kiwis.
5. Pepitas and sunflower seeds. Salty and crunchy.
6. Plain greek yogurt with honey on top. Sweet and filling.
7. Hard boiled eggs. Just one or two. Filling.
8. Unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon on top. Sweet and somewhat cookie-ish.
9. Oatmeal with raisins and almond slivers. Great comfort food. A good alternative to cookies or bread. Quite filling.
10. Lots of water. Always lot of water. It also fills me up, calms me down, and frankly, flushes out all of the yuckies.
To be clear, I don't eat ALL of these foods in one sitting. I find that it's good to have them all around as options, so I have choices. I also use them for snacks when I'm not in stress-eating mode. Also, if I'm super stressed, I try to eat salmon for a meal, with a side of greens. Of course, going for a walk, talking to a friend, etc. would be great too, but that's not always possible.
By planning ahead for stress eating, I'm able to avoid gorging on junk food and I can force myself to make healthier choices. I truly believe that by eating healthier food, I'm able to overcome my stress more quickly too.
How do you deal with stress eating?