​Stress eating or emotional eating can be a major contributor to weight gain. While it may seem difficult to break out of this habit, there are several things that you can do to change and establish healthier eating patterns. This article will show you how to stop stress eating.

Manage your Stress

Many people tend to eat more when they’re under stress. it’s as if their body calls for more nutrients in order to better manage what they’re going through. According to research published on Harvard Health, stress not only causes people to overeat but even affects their food preferences.

If you’re constantly being exposed to high levels of stress, you’ll need to take a look at how you can adjust things. Constant stress is not healthy for you. Research shows that stress can result in poor cognition, cause hair loss and damage your heart, even if you’re just trying to meet deadlines at work.

How to Stop Stress Eating with a Food Diary

If you realize that you’re eating in order to meet an emotional need, you can identify your triggers by keeping a food diary. Write down what you eat, when you eat it, and what you were feeling when you ate it. This also applies to what you drink, even if you’re having non-alcoholic beverages like chai.

If you have several cups of sweetened chai or mint tea a day, that can cause you to gain weight. Track everything that you eat, even if it seems harmless. You may find that you always snack on a lot of raspberry ice cream when you feel worried.

Once you’ve identified your triggers, you’ll have to find a healthier way of dealing with your emotions. Sometimes a therapist, pastor or trusted friend can help. However, even simply tracking your behavior can help you to modify your actions by keeping you accountable. It may force you to control your feelings and take more positive steps.

Get Support

Family and friends can help to support you in times of stress. If you’ve moved to another part of the county and don’t have a strong support network in place yet, you can form one by finding groups of people who share your interests. Join people who jog in the morning in your neighborhood. Exercise releases endorphins which can help you to feel better.

You can also join groups online. Activities such as chess can be done online and help you to meet people who can support you in rough times. if you’re in a high stress job, you may not be able to transition to another job yet. It’s essential that you get support in place. You could form a club at work that exercises or does some other relaxing activity together.

Avoid Temptation

If you know that you snack on sweet pastries when you’re under stress, don’t buy them. Automatically withdraw the money that you would spend from your salary and send it to a mutual fund account. That’s more rewarding and you’ll gradually replace the rush of eating with the rush of seeing your money grow.