How to Stop Binge Eating Caused by Stress or Depression
There are many different factors that contribute to weight gain. Diet, lifestyle and exercise – or lack thereof – are all the building blocks for gaining weight. Appropriately, these are three of the most important aspects for losing weight as well. But even if you watch your diet closely and spend more time in the gym than you do at home, there’s still one important factor that can derail any weight loss attempt: stress.
Stress can creep into your life and disrupt your lifestyle before you know it’s there. So many things in today’s life cause stress in one form or another. Work, family, social situations, even just watching the nightly news on television can be stressful. This is a major problem for people looking to lose weight. This is because stress will often lead to binge eating or emotional eating. When you’re stressed out, it’s easy to reach for that cheeseburger or bottle of beer. Sure, it’ll make you feel better right now, but overall it’s downright unhealthy. And it sure won’t help your weight loss either.
There is a hope, however, as there are many different things you can do to help manage stress in your life. You can’t always control the outside forces that put stress on your life – but you can do a better job of managing it when it rears its ugly head. Here are five simple and effective ways to manage your stress. Try one of these, next time you want to reach for that tub of ice cream after a tough day in the office.
- Grab a friend – literally.
Recent studies have found that simply holding another person’s hand can have a calming effect on the body, and has been shown to help decrease stress levels in both people. While maybe not the best tactic for everyone, if you have a close friend or loved one around, reach out and grab them – literally.
- Go for a walk
Just a 10-minute break can do wonders for the mind and the body, and allow you to refresh and recharge. Not only will it clear your head, but walking is very relaxing. After all, everyone needs a break, right? Next time you’re overwhelmed, go outside, leave the office or just go somewhere you have some room and take a walk.
- Put things in perspective
This one is simple – don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Put whatever you’re dealing with in perspective, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly it starts to shrink. Chances are it’s not the end of the world.
- Realize you’re not perfect
One of the causes of stress in students is a drive for perfection. Instead of focusing on what you haven’t been able to do, think about everything you’ve accomplished and realize that no one is perfect. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help – there are many different support networks available for a reason.
- Develop and utilize your support network
Sometimes the last thing we want to do is probably the first thing we need to do. One of the most important factors that can help weight loss is developing a network of friends and family you can lean on throughout the process. Take advantage of having the support available, especially when you’re stressed out. And don’t be afraid to grow your network – there are always people out there willing to help out a fellow workout warrior.
Mike Tennant is a freelance writer from Orange County, CA who has recently lost more than 125 lbs. thanks to proper diet, exercise and stress management. Currently Mike works alongside Air & Water Inc.