Stress. Stress sucks. It can totally hinder your weight loss journey.
Everyone has stress. For me it's the basic: Money-Work-Loneliness Trifecta. Whatever stress you have, it affects you in so many ways. High blood pressure. Anger. Relationships. Sadly, stress-eating is one of the worst. I used to be the biggest stress eater. I could eat a box of oreos in one sitting. And I did. Many many times. I would come home from a bad day at work and eat half of a pizza and top it off with a bag of chips. Stuff your face until you are numb. Worked for me. Or did it?
I wish I had the magic words on how to avoid stress-eating. The only thing I can say is: "Don't buy it". I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if you have it in the house you will eat it. I used to have secret stashes. Sound familiar? Do you have that special drawer? The box of cookies in your closet? That bin of chocolate under your bed? Oh you know what I'm talking about.
If you absolutely need chocolate then go ahead and buy one bar. ONE. Don't buy the bag of mini's (40 calories for each bar). Try switching to dark chocolate. I thought I would rather die before I would switch from milk chocolate, but now I love dark chocolate so much I actually prefer it. It is better for you too. Now that doesn't mean you should eat it all of the time, but it is the better option.
When you are stressed avoid the fast foods. PLEASE avoid the fast foods! It's the easy answer I know. You want the quick fix. You want the greasy goodness. You want someone to wait on you (just remember it may not be the best service and you may take out your frustrations on the teenager behind the counter). When you're stressed drink the water. Eat the right things. Go for a walk.
Now I am not saying that I am the best role model for stress eating. I apparently stress eat baby carrots. Sounds weird I know, but when I start craving them I know I'm in trouble. It means I need to find a way to relax. I travel a lot and when I am away I will be fine, but the minute I get in my car to come back home to my reality I can't eat them fast enough. Here's the thing: even too much of a healthy food can be a bad thing. Eating a pound of baby carrots ain't good.
My consumption of carrots has greatly decreased during the week. You want to know why? The walking helps. Exercise is a great stress reducer. It doesn't make the stress go away, but it does help your body relax so that you don't feel like that elephant is sitting on your chest. It also helps with your blood pressure. Bonus! High blood pressure runs in my family and I am determined to keep away from that one.
The reasons for my stress have not gone away, but I still have a box of Thin Mints in my freezer that I haven't finished and that's gotta count for something.
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.