Unstoppable snacking? Our top 3 tips to support stress eating.

Feeling like a snack monster?

If you’re anything like me, I’ve been snacking my ass off these past few months- when the kitchen is also your office it’s easy to proscrasta-snack 24/7. Procrasta-snacking in itself can be a source of stress, sometimes it’s boredom, sometimes it’s anxiety and sometimes it’s unexplainable.

 

We’ve compiled our top 3 ways to support you when you feel like you’re in a rut with unstoppable snacking and it’s stressing you out.

 

  1. Explore your hunger

When you’re next feeling snacky we’d recommend you taking notice of your hunger.

We trust and listen to our bodies for SO many things; when we’re cold- we search for a jumper, when we need to go to the toilet- we take ourselves to the bathroom, but when it comes to food- we seem to have lost our way a little. We’ve lost our fine tune sense of hunger and fullness.

We’ve become dependent on others (often diets or meal plans) or external cues to tell us what, when and how to eat! So we’d love to introduce you to a concept called Eating awareness. It’s all about listening to your internal body cues when it comes to the food that you eat. It’s about tuning into the sensations of hunger, fullness and satisfaction before, during and after a meal in a really inquisitive, curious and calm way.

If you want to tune back into these feelings we encourage you to write down all the words that come to mind next to each of the below, of how you feel inside when you are;

  • Hungry
  • Satisfied
  • Full

Once you’ve jotted some thoughts down on each, we encourage you to pick snack tomorrow, to check in with yourself on these feelings before, during and after you’ve eaten it. Repeat with each snack one at a time until you become familiar with the feeling of being hungry, satisfied or full. We’re generally aiming for hunger before and satisfied after. A reminder: not every eating experience will be or should be ‘perfect’, overeating or feeling really full isn’t good or bad, it’s simply an experience where you’ve eaten to the point of feeling uncomfortable!

 

  1. Explore your environment

When you’re next feeling snacky we’d recommend you taking notice of where you are.

  • Are you in the kitchen and can see all the food on your bench?
  • Did you just walk past a bakery and smell the treaties?
  • Is someone you’re with who is eating and they’re telling you how delicious it is?

Seeing, smelling and hearing about food are all cues to get our digestive juices flowing (quite literally). So it’s completely normal to feel snacky in these instances, even if you’re not actually hungry. So, we’d recommend stopping and checking in with those hunger cues before you tuck in as it could simply be the environment you’re in that’s got your brain and stomach communicating.

 

  1. Explore your feelings, mindfully.

 When you’re next feeling snacky we’d recommend you take notice of how you are feeling.

  • Are you tired? You may feel like you need to eat to stay awake.
  • Are you stressed? You may feel like you need comfort foods to feel calm.
  • Are you bored? You may feel like you need to eat to keep you occupied.

These are all really common scenarios and really valid feelings to acknowledge. Let’s face it; we eat for LOADS of different reasons, including meeting our emotional needs. In this case, we revert back to point 1 AND finding the support you might need in these times of uncertainty. Whether it’s speaking with loved one’s, health professionals or other people in your support network.

Another really handy tool to utilise in this case is the practice of mindful eating. Which is essentially eating while paying attention, on purpose and in the present moment. It helps us appreciate and enjoy food and often gives us a sense of satisfaction after eating. We have stacks of resources throughout our website to support you with this.

 

Remember food is more than nutrients and fills our cups up in different ways at different times so we want you to be kind to yourselves. We’re going through some real shit RN and you deserve some sacking self-compassion sister!

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