There are some days when we wake before our alarms full of energy, head downstairs and whip a healthy delicious breakfast, avoid sugar all day and then head to a pilates class after work feeling glowing and virtuous… and then there are other days, well they’re best not mentioned.
So many of us fall in to the trap of comfort eating when we’ve had a bad day, or we’re anxious and we’re stressed, leading to us binge eating chocolate bars or indulging in a takeaway. Whilst of course one day of falling off the band wagon won’t hurt us, if you find yourself consistently reaching for the biscuit tin when things get rough you could be what’s known as an ’emotional eater’ We’ve put together a list of things you can do as healthier alternatives when you feel yourself going on that emotional down.
Find new ways to treat yourself
Often when we’ve had a bad day at work we’ll find ourselves longing to head home and crash out on the sofa with the TV and a pizza. The craving is our bodies way trying to seek out pleasure in a stressful situation. Instead of making the feel good receptor centre on food, try switching it for something else that makes you happy. Arrange to go out for your friend for a catch up, plan an indulgent soak in the bubble bath, or even (if you can) make yourself head to an exercise class or go for a run after work. Exercise is a great way of releasing feel good endorphins, and the ultimate stress relief that will lift your mood if you’re having a bad day.
Meal prep the night before
Whilst bulk meal prepping on the weekend can be a lifesaver, there is a good chance that come Thursday what ever you made on Sunday will have lost it’s appeal and look a little lack lustre. Preparing your food after you’ve eaten the night before you need it is a good way of keeping it fresh and appealing, and also allows you to plan food around what you know tomorrow might hold for you. If you’ve been asked to stay late at work, make a smoothie and prepare a healthy snack that you can eat such as a few small squares of dark chocolate, raspberries an nuts that will see you through until dinner time.
Keep healthy snacks handy
If like most of us you rely on a good cup of tea and the power of a good biscuit to help you when your feeling stressed or anxious, try making sure you have some healthy options in sight and ready to go for when you want to grab a fix. Herbal teas are a great replacement if you are a tea lover; try fruit flavours such as raspberry and strawberry if you have a sweet tooth, or spicier flavours like Peppermint or ginger and lemon if you want something warm and comforting. Bowls of nuts mixed with dry fruit are great for snacking on that you can place around the house, and a bowl of oatmeal and sliced banana takes two minutes to whip up and will provide you with a more nutritious alternative.
Allow yourself to feel
If you already find yourself elbow deep in a pot of Nutella (we’ve all been there) don’t make yourself feel worse by mentally beating yourself up over it. Allow yourself the moment to be off the wagon; acknowledge that you’re having an off day and that your feelings are perfectly valid. Try halving what ever it is your snacking on, pop the rest away, and slowly savour every bite; this will allow you to enjoy the food and refocus your mind on other things.
The Inspire Team