How Do I Stop Stress Eating While Sheltering in Place?

The transition to sheltering in place has caused many to turn to stress eating to cope. I reached out to one of our eating disorder specialists, Ametis Bassir, to gain her insight into why many people have turned to stress eating and what other ways we can do to cope during this time.

Watch the video and read a summary of the interview below.

Why can I stop stress eating right now?

  • We are faced with many continuous external stressors (COVID-19, financial stressors) with no relief. The body response is wanting to soothe yourself and food is just one of those immediate ways to relieve that stress.
  • Think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. At the bottom physical safety, food, and water. So when we get into a situation like we’re now or some kind of in a crisis when our basic needs are at risk our bodies naturally want to make sure that we have our basic needs like food and water. So it’s a survival instinct that we have naturally as humans and animals to want to eat.

What Are Ways to Create a Routine Around Eating if I’ve Been Thrown Off?

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many people off their normal routines. You can create a new eating routine or structure. It’s ok to adjust your normal mealtimes by a few hours.
  • Have a decent meal every 3-4 hours but create a new consistency.

How Do I Cope Without Stress Eating?

  • Practice self-soothing. Self-soothing techniques can help calm you when you are feeling overwhelmed. The key is to find healthy self-soothing skills that help you cope instead of behaviors like stress-eating.
  • Utilize mindfulness or meditation.
  • Notice what your body is really feeling. Are you really feeling hunger or are you feeling lonely, stress, or some other kind of emotion? Use a feeling wheel to accurately assess and better understand your emotions.

Get to the Root of Your Stress Eating With Help From a Therapist

strategies to help stop stress eatingWith help from an experienced therapist, you can get to the source of your stress eating and find better ways to cope in stressful situations.  Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, TX, has many therapists that specialize in stress eating and other disordered eating behaviors.

We also run a biweekly Intuitive Eating Support Group to help with binge eating, emotional eating, and compulsive eating. Reach out for a free consultation today by calling 832-559-2622 or book an appointment online.

 

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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