Everyone is stressed out these days, and many turn to food for relief. But overeating isn’t the answer — it can even make things worse.
Help your clients, students, or employees with these seven ways to stop stress eating:
- Knowledge is power. When you learn about the relationship between food and stress, you can do something about it. Host a lunch-and-learn virtual session using our How to Manage Stress without Overeating PowerPoint with PDF handouts. If time is an issue for your audience, break the show up and hold a series of shorter sessions.
- Can’t do a class? Another option is our Don’t Stress Eat poster, which comes with free PDF handouts.
- Resilience: overeating is one thing, but most people get into trouble when they beat themselves up about it. Our Don’t Stress Eat color handout gives tips on how to avoid stress eating AND what to do when you do overeat.
- Exercise is a great stress-reliever, so don’t forget to include it in any plan to prevent or respond to stress eating. Even a five-minute walk can get your mind off food and help you deal with what’s stressing you out.
- Meditation is another way to handle stress. How about taking ten deep breaths before giving in to a food craving? Encourage your students and clients to try simple meditations available online or via apps. Some have free trials but then charge a fee, like Calm Headspace. But Smiling Mind and Insight Timer are free.
- Teachers are under a great deal of stress – with this in mind, Headspace is offering free access to educators. And some apps are also offering free premium access to healthcare providers.
- Mindful eating can help stop stress eating before it starts. Use our 3 Steps to More Mindful Eating poster to teach this gentle, positive way to a healthier relationship with food.
- Sleep may be the answer for many people who use food to deal with stress. Our Sleep Right for a Healthier Life poster teaches how and why to get a good night’s sleep.
- Coloring is a great stress-reliever. An added bonus — it’s hard to eat while your hands are occupied! Find adult coloring books online or in bookstores and department stores. You can even print out single pages to color (just do a search for ‘free printable coloring pages’). Our MyPlate coloring books add a healthy eating message while you color.
Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD