If you find yourself craving sugar and junk food when you’re stressed, “Mindful eating is one of your best defences against stress eating,” says Dr Susan Albers, author of Quit Comfort Eating (Piatkus).
Here’s how to incorporate this kind of focus into your daily life:
Tune into mindless eating habits
When you feel stressed out, you shift into eating without even realising it. When you eat mindfully, you start to become an expert on your hunger. You recognise when you’re eating to calm and comfort rather than feeling the effects of a rumbling stomach. By tuning into these mindless eating habits, you can nip them in the bud.
Think hunger not habit
When you become more mindful, you start to notice that much of stress eating is a habit. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or just eating to squash stress?” It’s true that doing something new and avoiding stress may not be as seductive as eating, at first. But with repetition, doing something in place of stress eating helps.
Remember the rules
- Sit. When you eat, just sit and eat – stop multitasking. It sounds kind of silly and simple, but we stand and walk around a lot as we eat, and lose track of how much we are swallowing.
- Slow down. Eating at a slower pace helps you to really savour food instead of gulping in that zombie-like way. Put your fork down between bites and give your body time to register just how much you’ve eaten.
- Savour. Zoom in on the taste and texture of each bite. When you savour your food, you eat less and enjoy more.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.