6 Ways to Deal with Being a Stress Eater

Stress Eater
08 Jan

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

I’m pretty sure I gained about two or three pounds this week. The events on Capitol Hill on January 6th, 2020, sent me over the edge. And I’m reeling from the results. Being a stress eater is horrible!

But, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, I think it’s time to actually put some methods into practice again.

Especially if I want to beat my son at losing weight this month. I only have three weeks to go and I’m falling behind schedule.

6 Realistic Methods to Manage as a Stress Eater

The morning after is when I usually feel the pains of stress eating. In fact, I usually suffer some massive heartburn from overeating on top of various other issues.

And in most cases, I don’t even realize I am gorging myself until it’s too late. Since I hate throwing up, I push through the discomfort and try to promise myself it’ll never happen again.

It doesn’t always work that way, though.

Next time I am tempted to pig out while stressed, I’ll try a few of these methods. In reality, I’ve done a few of these in the past. But some situations are just too emotional to keep a rational mind.

1. Remove Yourself from the Stress

Usually, this is my fallback. When things get too tense, find ways to reduce the load. For instance, I should have jumped off Twitter and YouTube as soon as I felt the urge to grab a “snack.”

However, it’s hard to turn away from history as it unfolds. And, you won’t be able to remove yourself from every stressful situation.

Even if it’s merely a temporary diversion from what you’re experiencing, a moment of peace can make a huge impact.

Normally, I handle this quite well. But sometimes, chaos wins out.

2. Be More Constructive

A lot of the time, being constructive in some way helps me cope as a stress eater. Writing, gaming, or otherwise being creative staves off the need to fill my face.

In fact, a lot of therapists will suggest writing in a diary or a journal during stressful times. It helps to get your words out there and feel the release of expressing yourself.

If you write in something like a journal, you also don’t have to worry about social repercussions from trolls on Twitter or Facebook.

I tried to do some blogging, but I just couldn’t get focused.

3. Drink More Water

What I should have done was drink water instead of snacking and pigging out. I actually have a case of Kirkland flavored waters sitting next to my desk for this very reason.

Considering how 77% of people state they don’t drink enough water during the day anyway, doing so while stressed is beneficial.

For the life of me, I have no idea why I didn’t just grab a water instead of a handful of chocolate-covered raisins. And, gorging on Wendy’s wasn’t such a great lunch, either.

At least I didn’t get a Dr Pepper to go with the meal. Pff…as if 240 calories from soda would have made much of a difference at that point.

4. Shift to Exercise More

In many cases, I find quite a bit of solace while exercising. When I get to the point of being a sweaty mess, I usually feel thousands of times better.

Plus, exercise helps me refocus a rational mindset. I often come up with some brilliant ideas when working out.

Unfortunately, I found myself glued to the monitor watching the news about Washington DC. It never once dawned on me to get a few moments in front of the Xbox or using the Bodyblade.

5. Join a Positive Social Group

Leaning on the assistance of others is often therapeutic. Especially when you belong to groups of like-minded individuals. 

Although social media is what can contribute to a lot of stress, it can also help you cope. It all depends on how you use it and what groups you decide to hang out with.

Unfortunately, some chaotic instances are too great not to be reflected in any group. 

6. Seak Professional Help

I know that not everyone has the time or money to find a good psychologist who specializes in eating disorders. But, it may be the last option available if all else fails.

It’s not a weakness to seek guidance when you’re on the ropes in any situation, especially when it comes to mental health.

Even if it’s using online therapy, someone to talk to about problems can go a long way to alleviating that stress.

Suffering the Consequences of Being a Stress Eater

So, because I wasn’t mindful of myself, I sit here with an upset stomach and some nasty heartburn. I probably consumed around 4,000+ calories yesterday, which is easily three times what I normally eat.

Especially nowadays. I’m not the fat kid I used to be and can’t pack it away like I did back in 2013.

Not to mention this will set me back several days of progress.

But does that mean I’ll give up and just try again next month? Absolutely not. I just need to refocus and remember that being a stress eater is what put me over 300+ pounds to begin with.

I merely got swept in the emotions of the day. It happens. It’s how you deal with proceeding days that determine if efforts are a success or failure.

And right now, I’m feeling like someone scraped me off the bottom of a grease-burnt pan. It’s a horrible feeling that I know will come when I binge eat like that.

It’s a feeling that I truly hate. Then, I wind up getting frustrated with myself because I know what’s about to come if I gorge myself.

After this blog post, I am getting in front of the Xbox Kinect to sweat out some of this sugar.

Two Extremes to Stress Eating

Did you know that about one-quarter of adults use food to manage stress? And 34% of them say overeating has become habitual.

Throughout my life, I have experienced both sides of the spectrum. Which is funny, when you think about it. When it comes to stress, you can change habits seamlessly and without justification.

At any point, you can experience extremes to stress eating of either side of the coin.

Eating Everything in Sight

Right now, binge eating is where it’s at for me. Ever since my mind took a walk in my late 30s, I’ve dialed up being a stress eater to 11.

I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be. In fact, I’ve lost 80 pounds and have managed to keep it off for over five years.

Well, with the exception of recent events.

Normally, I can stave off the gorging while stressed. But as I said, sometimes, things are just too overwhelming to think straight.

Not Eating at All

When I was younger, I had the habit of not eating at all during stressful times. In fact, I had a period where I didn’t eat or sleep for days on end.

Starving yourself in such a manner is also an eating disorder. And if you fall into this category, it may be a good idea to seek professional help.

I know I should have back then. It probably would have made a huge difference in who I am today. 

How Do You Deal with Being a Stress Eater?

Now that the dust has somewhat settled, I am getting back into weight-loss mode. It’s tough being a stress eater, and sometimes professional help is warranted.

Just keep in mind that stress does a lot more to your body than just cause you to eat or starve.

Find ways that help you cope and live a healthier existence. The rewards from finding balance in your life are worth the effort.

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