How To Overcome Stress Eating

It’s not the most fun topic to talk about — stress-eating.We’ve all been there…It’s been a hard day, you’re exhausted, and the bag of chips
Remedy Athletics
May 19, 2021
How To Overcome Stress Eating

It’s not the most fun topic to talk about — stress-eating.

We’ve all been there…

It’s been a hard day, you’re exhausted, and the bag of chips that don’t usually tempt you just look so good. 

Or maybe you’ve even been caught in a cycle that looks like this: 

What if you could break that cycle?

We have some tips to help you do it!

It all starts with self-reflection because those feelings and behaviors came from somewhere. One powerful practice you can use works like this:

1. Remember the most recent food/eating episode that you felt didn’t go well (maybe you ate more than you wanted, reached for foods you don’t actually love, etc.). Write it down.

2. What was happening right beforehand? Make sure to include these details: 

3. Keep going back in time a bit further (as in, 3-5 hours earlier).

4. Now read back through what you’ve written. What do you notice? Does anything jump out to you?

It’s okay if “Jumps off the page” the first time you complete this exercise. Try it a few times and you’ll begin seeing patterns and trends. Chances are high you’ll start noticing connections between certain situations, people or feelings that led to overeating or other challenging food situations.

For example, you might notice:


Once you’ve gathered some information and noticed patterns, it’s time to take action and come up with creative solutions.

Maybe you mark your calendar the day when your period is due to arrive so you can be prepared for higher levels of hunger during the days beforehand, stock up on extra veggies, and get the most tempting stuff out of the house. (This is when working with a coach can be really helpful as the two of you can strategize together!).

Instead of beating yourself up about stress-eating, take a self-compassionate approach.

This might feel strange at first or may even be the first time going about it this way. When you feel bad about yourself or your actions, it can make stress eating worse. That means now is actually the perfect time to start practicing self-compassion. We’re not talking about ignoring your problems or giving yourself permission to eat whatever you want. 

True self-compassion is an attitude of generosity, honesty, and kindness towards yourself. 

Self-compassion can prevent you from sinking into that “screw it” mindset that often leads to stress-eating or even bingeing.

Here’s how to do it effectively: when you “mess up”, give yourself some grace. Step back and look at the big picture. Notice what you’re doing, thinking, and feeling without judging it. Remind yourself that everybody goes through this sometimes. And that’s okay.

It isn’t a “mess up” if you can learn from it and move forward while being kind to yourself. If anything, it was a necessary step on your longer-term health journey. 

If this feels kind of mushy at first, we get it. Just keep practicing. Like any skill, self-compassion takes practice and repetition. We promise it’s effective and powerful.

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