It is common for me to hear new clients say, “I don’t have willpower” when it comes to food cravings. When you are stressed, you may not realize that you are using food to make yourself feel better. Usually the foods you want to eat in these moments are HIGHLY palatable, such as baked goods, candy, salty chips, fast food, etc. You all of a sudden feel good for a moment. But when that moment fades, you are left feeling worse than before. Can you relate to this roller coaster?

Here are a few signs that you may be stress eating:

1. You CAN’T stop eating.

Sweet, then salty, then sweet again. Or you can’t stop making trips to the fridge even after you just ate a meal.

2. You eat until you are UNCOMFORTABLE.

If you feel full, you have eaten more than you need to, so if you wait until you’re bursting at the seams and your stomach hurts, you’re likely overindulging for other reasons.

3. You feel AWFUL after you eat.

You know that certain foods don’t agree with you, but you eat them anyways.

4. You eat because you are bored.

You may find yourself reaching for food without consciously thinking about it. You might feel a little relief or comfort from what you eat, but it often leads to guilt or regret afterward.

5. You get sudden, urgent cravings and have no willpower to stop yourself

You KNOW you need to stop. And you are TELLING yourself to stop. But you are watching yourself put more food into your mouth!

If any of these sound like you, know that it is not your fault. Most of your behaviors are controlled by subconscious thoughts that are deeply engrained into your brain. Thoughts create emotions. Emotions set off a cascade of biochemical reactions in your body, whether it is positive or negative.

Willpower isn’t enough to control your cravings, because you can’t think your way out of emotions. So don’t be hard on yourself! Once stress is triggered, your brain wants relief fast! It only knows how good it feels in the moment to put food into your mouth even though you aren’t hungry. It’s not thinking about the long term negative health effects.

Can you think of a time where you felt out of control with food? What was going on during this time? Was there something that triggered you to be stressed?

I hope this helps you see that you should NOT beat yourself up for not having willpower when it comes to food cravings. It is a little more complicated than just telling yourself to stop eating! 

When you work on your triggers and STOP stress eating, amazing things will happen! 

If you are ready to feel what it feels like to be free from food cravings and stress eating, then click on the link below for a complimentary call with me!

 

Warm wishes, Elly

 

10.14.23

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