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DIDO123's Photo DIDO123 SparkPoints: (15,291)
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1/6/19 11:50 A

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I'm also working on this issue. I am trying to break my "shove 30 chocolate covered almonds in my face" stress management habit, lol. Some things that are working for me:

Pausing to practice focussed breathing for a few minutes. Breathe in for 8, hold for 4, breathe out for 8. I use this technique in meetings when I'm getting irritated or stressed out as well. You can do it fairly inconspicuously :-)

Getting up and out to walk around the block.

Naming the stress when it arises, then asking myself if this is something I am responsible for or can fix. If the answer is no, I mentally push it away.

Ask for help. I am not good at this, but I am practicing. I could have avoided a million stressful situations in the past by simply asking for clarification, guidance or assistance.

If I really feel like I need to eat something; I make diluted hot cocoa, a cup of coffee or drink at sparkling water. Sometimes I stand up in the kitchen and drink the beverage there, as an added break from my desk or the stressor.




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BETTERBOT's Photo BETTERBOT Posts: 6
1/1/19 11:18 A

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You mentioned it's emotional eating — have you considered non-food "smoke breaks"? For example, I find coloring in adult coloring books is an awesome way to de-stress. I didn't want to bust out a whole book and art supplies at the office, so I downloaded a free Coloring Book app and found it was quite soothing. It's not the exact same thing, but it's a great way to focus your mind on a calming activity and away from whatever emotions you're dealing with. I go outside or to the breakroom for 5 minutes — it's the same amount of time as a trip to the vending machine but cheaper / healthier. I know you can't do this non-stop but a handful of breaks each day are to be expected and a good way to reset your brain.

Edited by: BETTERBOT at: 1/1/2019 (11:20)
Yoga and crossfit enthusiast, building a health and fitness facebook messenger bot in my spare time. :) Feel free to test it out here: m.me/231639407588852


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MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,998)
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12/30/18 11:16 P

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Dee,
I agree with the previous suggestions. I also suggest coffee, either regular or decaf, which both provide antioxidants.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever exercises faith in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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CED1106's Photo CED1106 Posts: 321
12/30/18 3:33 P

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> My biggest problem is using Diet Soda as a pick-me-up in the afternoon.

DIY iced tea may also work. I drink Good Earth tea and water enhancers, myself. With water enhancers, you control how much flavoring you add, and how much water you drink. Use a big cup so you end up adding more water! (:

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ELENGIL's Photo ELENGIL Posts: 1,249
12/30/18 12:49 P

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DEEGIRL50 have you considered unsweetened/unflavored sparkling water? Seltzer or mineral water or something of the kind. You'll get that lovely bubbly effect without having any sugars or artificial sweeteners.

I practice intermittent fasting and keto
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DEEGIRL50's Photo DEEGIRL50 Posts: 19,526
12/30/18 12:39 P

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My biggest problem is using Diet Soda as a pick-me-up in the afternoon. I'm going to use some of the suggestions from this thread to help me break that habit.

1. Go outside or sit by a window. Solar power.
2. Put ear buds in and listen to music on my break.
3. Stretch or walk in place.
4. Drink water with fruit slices in it.

Dee

"I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep on dancing." ~Unknown Author

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SUGARSMOM2 SparkPoints: (276,690)
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12/22/18 8:02 A

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first, I want to say. no matter how many times we read some alternatives to emotional eating it never hurts to hear it again. we need to repeat over and over to get the idea into our heads and to keep them there. I am having trouble as I age putting it all in the proper order and just doing them.

sugarsmom2 donna wva


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ABELAWSKI's Photo ABELAWSKI SparkPoints: (17,998)
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12/14/18 3:32 P

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Honestly, it depends on the job. If you just own that you're going to snack all day because of your job, bring a BUTTLOAD of fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, bananas, oranges. Cut it up so it's easy to gnosh all day. The natural sugars should distract you from chocolate. If it doesn't, you could always drizzle or dip a SMALL amount of chocolate syrup on the fruit. Just enough to give yourself a taste. I did this for a while when I was at a really really stressful job. I literally brought containers FILLED with fruits and grazed all day. Bonus was that I never felt hungry. Downside was that the fiber and sugar gave me stomach problems for a bit until my body adjusted. As time went on, I started eating less because I was just so full all the friggin time. Then I mixed it up with veggies because frankly I wanted something NOT sweet.

More recently, I noticed I was having more of an issue snacking on salty snacks. To cope, and avoid the chips, I changed up what I was snacking on. I found lightly salted, dried edamame that is super satisfying... just salty enough and crunchy enough to please me, but not addicting. Okay, maybe a little addicting, but at 100 calories a serving with a boatload of protein and fiber, it could be way worse. Also lightly salted almond thin crackers are amazing... chiplike, but not. GREAT with roasted red pepper hummus.

Raw almonds actually satisfy me when I'm craving chocolate. Again, they're just sweet enough that if I concentrate on the flavor (it kind of tastes like really mild cherries).

Those items store well in drawers AND they're not stinky so they won't bother your colleagues.





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MICAROO's Photo MICAROO Posts: 8,468
12/14/18 8:43 A

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Are you near a window? I put a bird feeder outside my window (with permission, of course) and if I'm feeling stressed I just take a minute to watch the birds.

I have a stack of scrap paper on my desk, and when I'm particularly vexed about something, I write it on a piece of scrap paper and shove it in my back pocket. At the end of the day, I pull my notes out of my pocket and decide if it's something I need to address. If not, I just throw them away.

I work at a stand-up desk, which - since I'm already standing up - makes it easy to just walk away from my desk. A quick walk to another area; to the bathroom, to the break room, to the computer room, or out to the plant. Just changing venues for a minute helps. Just walking through a door helps. Crossing a threshold interrupts the stress pathways in the brain or something.

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MARTHA324's Photo MARTHA324 Posts: 8,456
12/7/18 9:14 P

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For me, taking a walk was the best way to deal with emotional issues.....and when I was stuck on an issue, walking helped me think it through.

Persistence is more important than perfection.

Don't assume your freedoms are assured.

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MANDIETERRIER1's Photo MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,836
12/7/18 3:12 P

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When you're at work and feel the urge to stress eat.

Stop and breathe. Feel the emotions that are making you want to eat. Count to twenty. Drink a glass of water. If the feeling doesn't go away. Repeat.

Ask yourself? Is eating a candy bar going to help the situation?

No it's not.

I hope this helps.



IMREITE's Photo IMREITE SparkPoints: (469,950)
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12/7/18 1:22 P

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i have had luck with using stress balls. i sometimes journal some stressful issues before they happen then i am ready to handle them calmly. some smaller stresses. i also have a small notebook where i will scribble out ideas or emotions when i want to snack. my handwriting is terrible so no one can read it anyway

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CINDYTW963's Photo CINDYTW963 Posts: 4,473
11/30/18 2:53 A

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It just comes down to coping skills you can teach yourself outside of work. You won't have time, unless you have a very lax job. It will come down to breathing, taking a walk instead of going to the food area, bring your food, meditating if you can before or after or both, reminding yourself that stress does not equal food!

Cindy~Eastern Time (Western NY)


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MEMEQ2's Photo MEMEQ2 Posts: 846
11/29/18 7:28 P

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I found some sugar free mints or fruit flavor candy that is only 2 calories a piece. I can enjoy those and keep away from the other temptations while I'm working. Another alternative is to have just one fun size candy bar that is only about 80 cals. Of course that is only if you can stop after one.

I drink flavored herbal tea or water with different flavored enhancer in it for variety. It gives flavor and hydrates you at the same time.

“love the life you live, live the life you love.” - Bob Marley

Mary Ann - Rochester, NY - Eastern Standard Time

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SABLENESS's Photo SABLENESS Posts: 8,856
11/26/18 6:47 A

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Mine are:

BREATHE.
Stretch. I have SP seated stretches printed and clipped to my cubby wall.
Look around. In my small space, I have artwork by my mom, daughter, a friend, and myself.
Walk. The outdoor corridor around the atrium takes only a few minutes.
Go to the gym on break.
Pray.


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ENGINEERMOM's Photo ENGINEERMOM Posts: 1,116
11/19/18 4:11 P

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- "smoke break" lap around the parking lot: I used to do this, too, at a particularly stressful job. It helped a lot to get my blood moving.

- Can you listen to music? I find listening to instrumental music such as the covers by 2Cellos (basically, modern pop music, but instrumental) or The Piano Guys helps me focus on what I need to do at work, and tune out the sometimes-stressful conversations going on in the cubes around me.

- Getting daylight at lunch. Sometimes this means going for a walk, sometimes it just means sitting near a window during lunch. This helps me a lot - I joke that I'm solar-powered!

- Very dilute hot cocoa. I had a roommate in college who used to drink this when she was studying. Basically, one hot cocoa packet in a huge insulated mug of hot water. She liked that it was a little sweet, but the large volume and temperature meant it took a while for her to drink.

- Chewing gum. I do this at work. I try to pick gum flavors that don't go well with chocolate (watermelon, anyone?) so I'm less tempted to eat the peanut M&Ms my coworker keeps stocked at her desk.

- Bring your own snacks/treats from home. I do this, too - I bring pre-portioned amounts of things like chocolate-covered almonds that I know I can munch on if that desire to eat emotionally is just that strong. Then I have my treat, without any guilt, and move on with my work.

Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.


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KEELYME Posts: 1,235
11/19/18 10:49 A

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If my stress is getting out of control, I sometimes just get up and take a lap around the parking lot of my office park. It takes about the same 15 minutes that a smoke break would, and gives me space to decompress. If the weather is terrible, I'll find an excuse to walk around the building.



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SHOAPIE's Photo SHOAPIE Posts: 27,694
11/19/18 10:38 A

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Lots of good suggestions.



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QUERIDAANA's Photo QUERIDAANA Posts: 1,297
11/19/18 9:26 A

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Are there breathing exercises to reduce stress?

It's the journey. We can do this.

Mary


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KRISZTA11's Photo KRISZTA11 SparkPoints: (133,617)
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11/13/18 3:09 P

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I walk in my lunch break and it makes a huge difference.

Kriszta

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-avoid overeating, instead of satisfaction you get stronger cravings


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LADYSTARWIND's Photo LADYSTARWIND Posts: 5,631
11/10/18 1:47 P

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Please...do NOT Journal at work...and certainly NOT on a work computer!!
First off, you are on company time---respect your job and earn your pay.
Second, there are 1000 ways your journal or writing might be accidentally discovered.... do you really want others to read,share, etc your personal thoughts?!
Third, there is now a written record of what you did during your job time...which can lead to immediate unemployment...and bad reviews for future job references.

And as for the suggestion to listen to music during a meeting?! OMG don't you have any respect for your peers or solving whatever problem the meeting is addressing?

Emotional eating shouldn't be a problem at work....simply don't bring what you aren't willing to eat, and don't buy food on site...! That doesn't mean you can't bring a reasonable treat for each afternoon.... have you considered some dried fruit, Nuts (as already mentioned), cheese and crackers, a protein type bar (check out Zone Double Chocolate or Chocolate mint), some trail mix with a tablespoon of chocolate chips added, etc.... If you can do hot drinks, the sugar free hot chocolate makes a great change! If you plan for something you like...and that you know is good for you...its a win-win!

patti


Edited by: LADYSTARWIND at: 11/10/2018 (13:53)
Patti
"The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."
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MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,998)
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11/10/18 3:12 A

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lol

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever exercises faith in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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INTOTHENEW's Photo INTOTHENEW Posts: 598
11/7/18 10:33 P

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Work. Lol

There is no bad food, only bad cooks.
WHYSHOSHONI SparkPoints: (10,436)
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11/3/18 5:25 P

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My two work standbys walking and music. Though I do try to fit in a 2 mile walk during my lunch break, that doesn’t always work and may not be practical for you depending on your work expectations. But what about a short walk down the halls or around the building, maybe 2-5 minutes?

I am in the IT field and spend a lot of quality time with my computer. So if I am meeting with someone or in a larger meeting, I put on my headphones and jam away to my favorite music, which changes depending on mood, stress, work I’m doing, etc. It really helps me get through the mundane tasks.

If it’s not possible for you to listen to music due to the nature of your job or employee rules, put earbuds in and listen to your fave song during that mini walk. No matter how strict a workplace you have, you should be able to get up and use the restroom. If your office is big enough, use the restroom furthest from your desk.

I understand the chocolate thing (my weakness too!), but I’ve swapped out the chocolate for a pre-proportioned serving of almonds or walnuts. 12 nuts do help me when I have a snack attack, and they are healthy too.

I hope this helps!



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NIRERIN Posts: 14,551
11/3/18 2:12 P

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How much customization do you have over your desk area? Is there a "happy place" or loved one or pet that you could put a picture of on your desk?
Which leads into meditation. I'm not saying you need an hour (well, you might need an hour, but sometimes you have to work with what you have), but closing your eyes and centering yourself for a few breaths can help. Yes, learning how to close your eyes and take a mental step back is a long term solution.

This is going to sound weird, but is there any way that you could manage some light massage? Using lotion and rubbing your hands, or maybe one of those little rollers for your feet or calves might be something that you find soothing. You might be able to find a desk workout exercise that is helpful (think heel raises when sitting down desk workout, not tricep dips).

Depending on your environment is there a scent that would be acceptable? Incense might be out, but would you be able to whiff a lidded candle (so that the smell would be concentrated for you but would not waft to your coworkers. And yes, I mean sniff the candle, not light the candle). A roller ball type of perfume might be something where you could get away with a dot here and there.

I think that you also have to reach a point with emotional eating where you accept that the chocolate bar is making a second problem, not fixing the first. One flat tire is not the end of the world, but when you go out slashing your remaining good tires with a knife, well, that's harder to recover from.

-google first. ask questions later.

MIWOLFF60 Posts: 115
11/3/18 1:55 P

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Sometimes I just have to have something in my mouth. That's when I pop a sugar free hard candy in. Helps me to refocus.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,998)
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11/3/18 3:22 A

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Address the stress.
Brainstorm (Journal, talk to a friend, pray, whatever works for you) in order to seek solutions to each stressor.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 11/3/2018 (03:25)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever exercises faith in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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CHEETARA79's Photo CHEETARA79 Posts: 4,171
11/2/18 11:18 A

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Go for a walk.

Close your eyes and meditate for a minute. Visualization, guided meditation, etc.

Deep breathing.

Aromatherapy.

Stress ball or fidget toy.

Fancy herbal tea or selzer.

Listen to music.

Write in a journal. You can type it in a Word document and it'll look like actual work!

Edited by: CHEETARA79 at: 11/2/2018 (11:20)
You don't have to eat the whole thing.
KATEPRUDE Posts: 85
11/2/18 10:00 A

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This may be tackled somewhere else here that I have missed. If so, I apologize.

I'm looking for realistic alternatives to emotional eating at work. The problem is that eating is a very easy way for an office worker to handle stress. You can generally still do your work while you eat your candy bar or whatever. I've found a lot of solutions online are completely unrealistic.

-- I cannot take a bubble bath, read a book, or similar things at work instead of eating. In fact, since we are heading for an open office soon, even taking a short break from your work to do something fun on the Internet could appear like you were slacking off.
-- I would totally take a minute to jump on my phone and book an exotic vacation ... but I can't afford it. That's another problem with chocolate. Even at fair-trade prices, it's a ton less expensive than many alternatives.
-- Despite well-meant advice online such as "if you are stress eating at work, maybe you need another job," I don't think this is realistic. I am in a better situation than I was a year ago, but the fact of the matter is, work can get stressful, and I'm never going to LOVE going to work unless I become a screenwriter who has to be on movie sets working with sexy British actors (and even then, I may found that work isn't as wonderful as I'd imagined!). So, no, I'm not going to solve my problem by quitting my job.
-- Eating a carrot instead of chocolate will not help. It will just make me feel like a sad person who wishes she were eating chocolate instead of a carrot.

I can think of one alternative to stress eating at work: a cup of hot tea. I love tea. But I would like more alternatives than that if possible.

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