Do you often find yourself eating large quantities of food when you are stressed or tired? Have you ever pigged out on something just because it was there? You are not alone. There are many people who would classify themselves as binge eaters or at the very least, out of control of their appetites. There are always triggers at work when people struggle with binge eating, and trying to control your appetite without knowing these triggers is next to impossible. Some people are emotional eaters, some eat when they are bored, and others eat when they are tired. Sometimes people eat for all these reasons! There are a few suggestions you can follow if you want to control your appetite, and these will work unless the reasons for your binge eating go deeper than being bored or stressed. If you try the following tips and nothing seems to be working, take some time to look deeper into the issue to figure out the root cause of the over-eating. You can try to fix symptoms for years, but if you go right to the root and deal with it, you won’t have to worry about the symptoms anymore.
Eating When You are Bored
- Get an accountabilty partner at work for this issue. When one of you is tempted to eat out of boredom, take a walk together or chat at the watercooler to ease your boredom.
- Plan activities for yourself. You can have things ready for you to do, such as an art project, a walk or a good book you’ve been waiting to read. Make a list of things you can do instead of eat and put it on your fridge.
- Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. By the time you get off the phone, you might actually be hungry, which is the right time to eat.
How To Control Your Appetite When Stressed
- Plan before the stress happens. Put a plan in place so that when you feel stress coming on, you can take a step back, remove yourself from the situation and go for a walk, take a bathroom break, or simply close your eyes for a minute and remind yourself that you control your appetite – it doesn’t control you!
- Don’t skip meals – it is very easy when you are stressed at work to just continue working until the job is done, but this will only lead to over-eating. Once your body and brain have reached their limit, you are much less likely to binge on something that isn’t good for you.
- Bring healthy snacks with you. Whether at work or at play, always have a healthy snack on hand to help you say no to the vending machine or fast food. Try to eat these snacks between meals when you are hungry.
Controlling Emotional Eating
- Get to know yourself. Know what triggers your emotional eating habits.Make a list of people and/or scenarios that push you into binge eating and if you can’t avoid them, being aware of your reactions will start you on the road to controlling your emotions and your appetite.
- Deal with people that cause you to over-eat. Many times we avoid confrontation with people and instead, keep suffering through broken relationships. Talk out your issues with these people and let them know how their words or actions affects you. If they care about the relationship, they will do their part to fix it. If not, move on and find a new friend who understands relationships take work on both sides.
- Get into the habit of waiting before eating. Go through a mental checklist in your mind before you put food on a plate. Am I hungry or upset? Am I bothered by something? When did I eat last? Is this what my body needs right now? Sometimes you will be both hungry and upset but not necessarily making the right choice for a meal or snack.
Eating When You Are Tired
- Make freezer meals in advance. All you have to do is take it out and microwave it. Knowing you have something quick, easy and healthy at home will help you avoid the fast food drive-thru on the way home.
- Grocery shop with these moments in mind. When you are tired and hungry you look for whatever is fast and easy to make. Look for fast, easy, but healthy options while shopping and avoid buying food that will become a temptation when you are too tired to cook.
- Try not to overdo it. If you continually allow yourself to get this tired and hungry, it will be hard to keep weight off and hard to resist binging on junk food. Try to stick with a menu plan that allows you to eat a few small meals throughout the day so that when you do feel tired, hunger isn’t a concern.