Stress may make you seek comfort in food, but it's important to try to channel your stress into other activities that don't affect your weight.
What can you do to break the cycle?
Below, we give you some tips to help you discover if you're eating out of hunger or stress :
1. Stop and think for a couple of seconds at what time you last ate. If the answer is less than 2 hours ago, most likely you're not hungry. Entertain yourself with something else that doesn't have anything to do with eating, and wait until the urge passes.
2. Keep a diary and a log of all the food you eat in about 3 days. Be sure to include at least one Saturday or Sunday. Next to each food, write down any positive and negative feelings you have when you eat. Consider whether you were in a good mood, anxious, angry, etc. This way you can monitor and evaluate your eating behavior and learn to avoid unhealthy food.
3. If you feel like eating a chocolate bar, try to distract yourself. Go for a walk, listen to music, read a good book or call a friend on the phone.
4. If you're stressed out you're likely to end up in front of the refrigerator. That's why you should fill it with healthy foods such as fruit or yogurt. Don't go to the supermarket when you are hungry. Eat something at home and wait until you are sure that your feelings will not affect your choices.
5. If you are hungry between meals, eat healthy snacks that are low in fat and calories. Choose fresh fruit, low-fat popcorn or a low-fat version of your favorite snack.
6. Healthy meals are balanced meals. Eat the recommended serving sizes in your diet plan. If you don't get enough calories, you will probably be hungry.
7. Always include vegetables, fresh fruits and whole wheat grains, a serving of milk or dairy product, and a source of protein.
8. Exercise frequently, but make sure to allow yourself time to get enough rest. Exercising in the outdoors, like going for a walk in a nice park, will help you burn calories while it gives you the opportunity to meditate and relax.
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