How to Avoid Stress Eating in the Midst of Your Stressful Day


The Reality…
In a recent blog, I wrote about the prevalence of stress in today’s world, and offered 10 tips to manage stress.  (If you missed it, click here to read Ten Tips to Manage Stress.)  The reality is that if we do not learn to effectively manage our stress, we may instead find ourselves managing a whole host of other undesirables. To reiterate, the failure to manage stress can result in anxiety, depression, insomnia, premature aging, mood disorders, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  On top of all those serious health concerns, failure to manage stress can also result in weight gain, and over time, obesity, stemming from poor food choices made while under stress.  I am referring to what is commonly called “stress eating” and nothing can take a woman off track with weight loss faster than a high stress day and the stress eating that somehow gets her through it.   
The Challenge…
The challenge, of course, is that those urges to stress eat strike when we are at a particularly vulnerable point emotionally.  Those of us who stress eat seek solace in “comfort foods”, which are typically packed full of sugar, flour and calories.  Those comfort foods provide an extra dose of dopamine to make us feel better, at least temporarily, which is one of the reasons we crave them.  Dopamine is known as the “feel-good hormone” because it provides feelings of euphoria and bliss.  No matter how much better your body may feel after eating “comfort food”, the body will still be at risk for the undesirables referenced above, and you certainly won’t be any closer to the your weight loss goals, especially if your stress eating occurs with any regularity.  In addition to the ten tips provided in the prior blog, which are more of a proactive and overall approach to stress management, below are some techniques you can use “in the moment” to avoid stress eating in the midst of your stressful day. 
The Solution…
If you are in the habit of experiencing stressful days because of your job or relationships, then it makes sense to plan in advance for a healthy interruption that you will implement when stress arises.  I encourage you to have at least five healthy interruption techniques at the ready.  Below I offer a few ideas to get you started, but ultimately you will want to develop techniques that are meaningful to your particular circumstances.  Tell yourself in advance that the stress may be coming, and if it does, you are prepared and will employ one of your techniques before you resort to stress eating.  Nine times out of ten your stress will dissipate without the need for food, and your body and brain will eventually become conditioned to the fact that food is no longer your answer to stress relief:
    1.  Have a safe space designated within your office or home (wherever you find yourself encountering stress, to the extent practical) where you can go light a candle or incense, close the blinds or drapes, and exercise some deep inhalations and exhalations.  Even five minutes of respite can bring about a shift in your stress level and allow you to push the reset button simply with space and breath, and not food.
     2.   Another option to deep inhalations and exhalations in your safe space would be to listen to a quick guided meditation. 

3   3.  Grab a bottle of water and go for a quick walk outside.  The water will help your body to feel as if it is being satiated, the walk will get your body moving and your blood flowing, and the fresh air will prompt you to breathe.  The whole experience will give you a fresh perspective.  

     4.  Have an understanding with a friend or family member that you will each provide each other with support in stressful times where either of you might otherwise feel tempted to stress eat.  Place a time limit on the phone call.  Even five minutes on the phone with a friend who understands what you are trying to accomplish with weight loss and the stressors of your life can quickly bring you back into perspective while allowing the food urge to pass unsatisfied.

The Invitation….

To get started on a deeper dive into stress management and permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  

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Elevating your Weight Loss Success through Meditation

The Reality…
Yoga International describes the real meaning of meditation as follows:  
“Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. Meditation is not a part of any religion; it is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be verified.
In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens.”
The Challenge…
There are many different ways to bring oneself into a “meditative” state.  There are walking meditations.  There are meditations sitting cross-legged with erect spine and focusing on the inhale and exhale.  There are movement meditations such as Qigong or Tai Chi, which incorporate a sequence of body posture and movement and breathing.  And there are mantra meditations, where a certain mantra is the focal point of the meditation.  In each variation, the common theme is a clear and relaxed mind which focuses inward and away from the external world – and in so doing, being fully present in the NOW and detached from thoughts of the past or anticipation.  The stillness that results from a regular meditation practice has countless health and lifestyle benefits.  So, the question then becomes whether meditation can help with weight loss? 
The Solution…  
Any method of meditation can help with weight loss. 
First, meditation brings about a calmness and clarity in the mind which has been linked in studies to decreased emotional eating, increased awareness of their bodily sensations, and reduced food cravings.  Oftentimes dietary choices are made from our unruly primitive brain, which is the “toddler” of our brain structure.  The primitive brain wants immediate gratification and directs us to indulge every food urge that arises as quickly and unhealthily as possible.  A stillness of the mind results from a regular meditation practice, and the effects can be to quiet the primitive brain in favor of our more rational prefrontal cortex, who is the “elder wise man” of our brain.  The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that remembers the “big picture” and your long-term goal of living with a healthy weight and body.  Meditation can bring about the calmness and clarity that allows your prefrontal cortex to remain in charge of food choices and allows an urge for unhealthy options to pass unsatisfied in favor of the long-term goal.  Sitting quietly in a meditative state also gives a person the space to process their thoughts, challenge their limiting beliefs about what is possible for their health, and raise their standards of what they want for their mind and body. 

Meditation can also reduce excessive amounts of cortisol produced in the body from chronic stress.  Chronic stress is associated with a greater concentration of fats in the abdomen, which is also linked not only weight gain but also higher mortality. One study revealed that meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying, and by effectively reducing stress, can help with weight loss.

The Invitation….
To get started on a deeper dive into permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  


How to Use Meditation Mantras to Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals

The Reality… 

Have you ever heard that the thoughts you think directly impact the results you get in life?  There are dozens of quotes circulating that point to that truth.  I love reading them because not only do they highlight and confirm a universal truth, but they also show how long historically thoughts about thought have been thought!  Here are a few of my favorites:

·                  “A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes” – Mahatma Gandhi
·                “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives” – Henry David Thoreau
·             “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true” – Napoleon Hill
·                “Anything you can imagine you can make real” – Jules Verne
·                “Our life is what our thoughts make it” – Marcus Aurelius
·                “As someone thinks within himself, so he is” – Proverbs 23:7
So, assuming the truth of the matter, that your thoughts make your life what it will be, if you are a person who thinks good things are going to happen, then good things are more likely to show up.  If you are a person who always sees the negative in everything, you probably have some more negative stuff coming your way. 
The Challenge…
What if you are a person who truly wants a great life, filled with great successes, experiences and people, but you are plagued by a history of negativity and negative thought?  What if you are an overweight person who truly believes there is no possibility for living in a healthy body?  You know the answer, right?  As long as those are your thoughts, you likely won’t have very much success overcoming your weight loss challenges.  The good news is that it’s possible to recondition your brain to think great thoughts, and one option for reconditioning your brain is with the use of meditation and meditation mantras.
The Solution… 
Meditation is an excellent tool to help shift your mindset on any issue, including health and weight loss.  As you focus during meditation, the brain is much more susceptible to new and improved thoughts such as solutions, positivity, and goal achievement.  With the help of meditation, people can learn to better control their thought processes and improve their concentration. 
The development of meditation mantras, which can also be read during the course of your normal day, can aid in the process of shifting your mindset through meditation.  For example, repeating the mantra “I am a person committed to regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle” or “I only desire healthy and nutritious foods” or “I love every cell of my body” may sound completely untrue the first time you whisper it to yourself, but in time and with focus and concentration through meditation, your brain will come to believe it, your paradigm will shift, and you will have come a long from a previous mindset such as “I will never be able to lose this weight!”  Meditating on empowering thoughts for just 15 minutes a day can result in a tremendous shift. 
Why not give positive thinking a try and figure out for yourself if history’s greatest thinkers were on to something when they said the results we get in life start with our thoughts?  I challenge you to develop 10 meditation mantras that are positively stated and meaningful to your goals and spend no less than 15 minutes each day repeating those mantras in a meditative state.
The Invitation…. 
To get started on a deeper dive into permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  

📅

Ten Tips to Manage Stress

The Reality…
Stress hits us from many different directions in today’s world.  And some of our sources of stress are delivered to us non-stop via the Internet.  According to a recent study, American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media.  It’s no wonder we are more stressed than ever before.  
Aside from what’s going on “out there” that we read about online and otherwise, we have our own personal stressors.  Work-related stress is a major source of personal stress.  A recent Forbes article reported the following survey results for workplace trends in 2019:
  • 76% of respondents said workplace stress “had a negative impact on their personal relationships”
  • 66% have lost sleep due to work-related stress
  • 16% have quit jobs because stress became too overwhelming.
Add additional personal stressors such as relationship conflict and money challenges to the mix, and it’s no wonder so many people are suffering.  According to the Global Organization for Stress, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in month prior to the survey and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year.
Sadly, we don’t even need to see the statistics, watch the news or go online to know stress is on the rise.  We feel it in our own bodies.  In fact, stress may be one of the primary reasons we find ourselves living in an overweight body, and maybe even trying to medicate against health challenges such as high blood pressure. 
The Challenge…
If you allow stress to go unchecked, your mind and body may experience some undesirable side effects, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, premature aging, mood disorders, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  Stress can also lend itself to poor dietary choices, which contribute to unhealthy weight gain and obesity.
How do you cope with your stress?  Do you do anything proactive to manage it?  Or do you give it free reign to lessen the quality of your life and your health?  Does stress impact your relationships?  Does stress keep you up at night?  Have you wanted to your quit your job because you found it too stressful?  Can you look in the mirror and see it on your face?
The Solution…
The truth is that if you don’t manage stress, it will manage you.  And it will seriously impact the quality of your life, your health, and your efforts at weight loss.  Below are ten tips to reduce your level of stress.  Each one will be explored in more detail in upcoming blogs because I consider stress management to be key to maintaining a healthy body, and a happy life.  I recommend you incorporate some sort of stress relief into each day to counter balance the inevitability of stressful situations that will present themselves in your life.  A mindful daily practice of stress management will help avoid the accumulation of stress in your mind and body, which can lead you to chronic stress and put you at risk for significant health problems.  Try some of these and see which ones work for you.
  1. Meditation
  2. Yoga
  3. Exercise 
  4. Spend time in nature
  5. Plan your week in advance
  6. Work on improving your organization skills
  7.  Learn to say NO to too many commitments
  8. Optimize your sleeping environment for a good night’s sleep
  9. Examine how you spend your time and incorporate more life balance
  10. Examine, and work on, your thoughts about your life circumstance and stressors
The Invitation….
To get started on a deeper dive into stress management and permanent weight loss, click on the calendar below to schedule a FREE mini-session with me.  What do you have to lose but some weight??  

📅