Figure out what to do instead of eating
“Eating never solves the problem that made you stressed in the first place,” says Deborah Beck Busis, LCSW, director of Beck Diet Programs, a CBT approach to weight loss, based in the Philadelphia area. But it can create new ones: “and now you have the problem of sabotaging your weight loss,” she says.
But you can defend against stress eating by deciding what you’re going to do instead. Sometimes when you’re stressed, you need to get energy out. Other times, you’re eating because you need distraction.
Either way, says Busis, you need to make yourself some lists of what you’re going to do instead. If you need to get energy out, get up and walk around. “I knew someone who did a plank every time stress mounted,” she says, “and they worked up to holding it for four minutes.”
If you need distraction, scroll through your phone and look at pictures of your last vacation, your pet, or your kids. Decide what you’ll do ahead of time, so you don’t reach for the chips or candy while you’re trying to figure out what else you could do.