If you are trying to use willpower to control stress eating, you are probably feeling frustrated. Applying willpower doesn’t work because the eating serves a need – a normal human need, usually for distraction, soothing or comfort.
If the need goes unmet, then willpower is no match for the powerful emotions that are driving the need. Weight is not a food problem or a self-control problem. It’s an emotional, lifestyle and/or stress problem. [important] Excess weight is an indication that something in your life needs to change.[/important]
If you force yourself to stop stress eating, the habit will only be resumed or replaced by some other negative habit. The problem isn’t even the stress eating itself. Stress eating is just a symptom of something being out of balance. You are overextended, stressed and/or engaging in work or relationships that are not satisfying.
When you get away from the source of stress and are on vacation or engaged in creative tasks, then there is no need to escape it by stress eating. If eating is the most exciting activity you have going, then you keep going back to it. If you are unhappy with yourself for responding to stress in this way, it is misdirected, since you don’t lack willpower to begin with.
Yet the solution is not as simple as exercising self control. Stress eating is a symptom that a life change is needed, not that there’s something wrong with you.
Where to start?
Listen to your body.
Remind yourself (compassionately) “it won’t help.” Make a decision to reduce the stress and overwhelm in your life.
[tip]A psychological craving will never be satisfied with sweet treats…[/tip]
Recommended Resource Lose Weight Without Willpower CD
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