If you are trying to lose pregnancy weight, it can sometimes be hard to break old habits.
Even though you are following a healthy eating plan most of the time, for some of us we can still fall victim to the stress>eat>guilt cycle.
It might be a night of no sleep with a sick or teething child, it might be money worries, it might be a fight with your partner, or a sick family member, or any number of things that cause the stress hormone cortisol to rise.  stress eating and how to stop
Having cortisol in your system sets off the craving for sweet, salty or high fat foods. These foods give you a burst of energy, making you feel better for a moment before seeing you come crashing down again.
The trouble with many of these foods is that you just want more and more, and you can end up eating much more than you should, until you feel uncomfortable or just plain ill.
So how can you tell the difference between stress eating (or emotional eating) and real hunger? Ask yourself these questions:

Are you feeling hungry in your stomach or your head?

True hunger is felt as an emptiness in the stomach. Stress induced ‘hunger’ is more of a thought in your head that you want something rather than actually needing it.

Do you want to eat any food, or a particular thing?

When you are truly hungry, you would most probably be happy to eat anything such as an apple, a carrot, or a boiled egg.
A stress-induced ‘hunger’ tends to demand something specific – you feel as though you need cake, or chocolate, and nothing else will do.

Can you eat some and be satisfied, or do you want more and more?

Real hunger sees you enjoy your meal and snack and be satisfied, while a stress related ‘hunger’ urges you to eat more and more. It also often leads to feelings of guilt or regret (which, let’s face it, you wouldn’t really feel after polishing off a chicken salad sandwich).
If stressful situations see you reaching for the tub of ice cream or bag of Doritos (insert your stress-food of choice here) there are ways to break this cycle.

4 Ways To Stop Stress Eating

1. Acknowledge the feeling, then let it go

The first step to breaking the pattern is to notice when you are stressed, and then stop the overeating or bad food choices in their tracks.
So much of what we do is unconscious, so it’s important to ask yourself why you are reaching for that particular food at that specific time.
After a while, you will be able to see that you are about to be in a stressful situation, and know that you don’t need to reach for food as that won’t solve the problem.

2. Find another way to relieve the stress

Now you can find alternatives to eating that will actually deal with the problem (because when was the last time a bag of Maltesers helped you make up with your husband after a fight?).
It’s time to face the stress head-on and find a way to make yourself feel better. It might mean:

  • Making a difficult phone call to find a way to pay an overdue bill
  • Having a dance off with the kids if they are ratty and getting you riled up
  • Going for a swim or a run where you can feel like yourself again without little ones underfoot
  • Taking a relaxing bath and listen to some music if you are stressed after trying to meet a deadline for work

3. Don’t keep the junk food in the house

It’s much easier not to eat a whole packet of Oreos if you don’t have a packet of Oreos in the house. Having to get in the car and drive to the supermarket to buy the junk food can be enough to wake yourself up from your stress-induced craving and realise that you can beat it.

4. Take overall steps to improve your lifestyle

If you live on a slippery slope where you can easily fall into stress patterns, it’s time to make some bigger picture changes.

  • HEALTHY EATING can help set up good habits around food and reduce your cravings for junk food. The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge gives you meal plans and recipes for all of your main meals and snacks, so the guess work is taken out of what to eat.
  • EXERCISE: getting some fresh air and exercise is another way to reduce stress, as it is a way to boost your endorphins naturally (the feel-good hormone). Even a 15 minute walk is better than sitting on the couch, and often once you get started you will find that you want to keep going. Can’t get out of the house? That’s OK, try the Healthy Mummy Post Pregnancy Exercise DVD at home instead.
  • SLEEP: try to get enough sleep (easier said than done with kids!) by offering your partner a lie-in on Saturday so that you can sleep in on Sunday. Or see if you can drop the kids to a friend’s house for an hour while you have a nap, and then repay the favour sometime.
  • SUPPORT: reaching out to others is another way to reduce stress. Being a mum can sometimes be isolating, so you need to have a support network for things like play dates, having someone to babysit for you when you need a night out, having friends to talk to when you need to unload some of your problems. Try to avoid negative people that don’t make you feel good. Many mums love our Facebook support group as it has thousands of mums who are all doing their best to eat well and be healthy for the benefit of their families. Join now, it’s free.

Easter is nearly here and if you are worried about sugar & calorie overload this Easter then NEVER FEAR – the Healthy Mummy is here!
And this April – straight after Easter, we are running our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge SUGAR DETOX SPECIAL
Designed to help you detox from Sugar and lose weight
Enter your details below to get your FREE Easter Recipe Sampler from our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge which is created especially for busy mums.

About the 28 Day Challenge
A few key things to note are:

  • The Challenge menu is FULLY customisable
  • You have access to over 1700 exclusive recipes
  • You have access to over 300 exercise routines
  • Meals are family friendly and are made in under 10-20 minutes

For a limited time, we are offering you a HUGE DISCOUNT on the lifetime membership discount on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge – you can see this awesome offer here

About the 28 Day Challenge

A few key things to note are:

  • The Challenge menu is FULLY customisable
  • You have access to over 1700 exclusive recipes
  • You have access to over 300 exercise routines
  • Meals are family friendly and are made in under 10-20 minutes

For a limited time, we are offering you a HUGE DISCOUNT on the lifetime membership discount on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge – you can see this awesome offer here

Results from mums on the 28 Day Challenge

Mums lose an average of 4-6kg (8-13 pounds) on our 28 Day Challenge and below are some of the amazing results from mums JUST LIKE YOU who are already using the 28 Day Challenge and losing tummy fat – make the change and join them today too!
You can see lots of more results and you can join here too
Claire Lost 27kgs* with the 28 Day Challenge
Lose Baby Weight-27kg Loss
Claire says: “I love that the Lose Baby Weight challenges are completely customizable meaning that I can select each meal and select meals that suit our family’s budget and taste buds.”
Take control of your health and get rid of those unwanted kgs for good.
Join now
You won’t regret it!