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      Almost eighty percent of adults report an increased amount of stress since the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, untreated anxiety can lead to many unhealthy behaviors, such as stress eating. This behavior leads to weight gain, so it is essential to know how to lose weight fast without fad diets.

      Taking comfort in food during times of distress, boredom, or sadness is a normal response. However, most people binge on fatty foods, such as ice cream, rather than healthy food. Stress eating is especially problematic if you have weight loss goals or need to manage illnesses such as heart disease or high blood pressure.

      Today, we will share some tips to help you regain control of your healthy eating habits and show you how to lose weight fast!

      Bad habits: Image of a woman in the dark sitting in front of her refrigerator putting food in her mouth

      Significant emotional events can cause stress eating. Nevertheless, this lady could benefit from professional help to make better choices.

      Understanding Emotional Eating

      Emotional eating (or stress eating) is a way to relieve negative feelings, so it isn’t uncommon when experiencing major life events. However, everyday problems can create negative emotions, making stress eating a regular occurrence. Some common triggers include:

      When you undergo stress for a long time, your brain reacts. One of the responses happens in your adrenal glands, where hormone production occurs. The adrenal glands release cortisol when you are overly stressed, and this hormone increases your appetite.

      While overeating may help you forget about your problems temporarily, it will likely lead to feelings of guilt for setting your weight loss goals back. It can also create an unhealthy cycle of overeating due to negative emotions, feeling guilty because you overate, and then doing it all over again.

      Unfortunately, it can be challenging to overcome this unhealthy habit and break the cycle it creates. So what can you do to get back on track?

      There are some positive steps you can take to combat and take control of your negative emotions. Instead of giving in to stress eating, try the following tips.

      Aerobic exercise: Image of a mother and daughter outdoors doing aerobics

      Commit to a healthy life style, but start small and work your way up!

      Look for Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress

      If stress is the reason you overeat, look for other ways to manage your feelings. You may wish to try meditation, breathing techniques, or yoga to regain your emotional balance.

      Another great way to relieve stress is by exercising. Physical activity causes your brain to produce more endorphins, the hormone that promotes positive emotions. Any aerobic activity such as brisk walking, cycling, or playing sports will positively affect your brain and help you get rid of negative feelings.

      Good habits: Image of a woman standing at her kitchen counter making a healthy smoothie while looking at her phone

      Have you already created your personalized plan for weight loss success? IntelliStress can help you build good habits.

      Track Your Calories

      Tracking your calories isn’t just a great way to lose weight. It can also help you identify your eating patterns and the causes of your overeating. Make sure to record the following information so you can understand the connection between your mood and habits:

      • The foods you eat
      • Your portion sizes
      • The time you eat
      • Your feelings before eating
      • Your hunger level

      Several apps can help you keep track of the foods you eat each day. This can make calorie-counting easier, but you can keep a simple food journal instead if you aren’t tech-savvy.

      When you count calories, you have more freedom than when following a strict diet plan. You can use a weight loss calculator and the body mass index to determine how many calories you should be eating to lose weight.

      Learn to Differentiate Hunger From Boredom

      At times, emotional food cravings can feel like hunger. Before giving into cravings, decide if you are hungry or simply bored. If you recently ate a meal and your stomach isn’t grumbling, it is probably just a craving.

      Habits of mind: Image of a man playing with his dog outdoors

      Instead of stress eating, what could you choose to get your mind off of food?

      Distract Yourself

      When you find yourself craving food out of boredom, that’s a sign you need to distract yourself with healthy behavior. Here are some ideas:

      • Take a walk
      • Play with your pet
      • Surf the internet
      • Read a book
      • Call a friend
      • Listen to music
      • Watch a movie
      • Clean the house
      • Do some exercise

      No matter what you decide to do, make sure it will keep your mind occupied. This will reduce your chances of giving into stress eating.

      Stock Your Pantry with Healthy Food

      It’s hard to resist your favorite foods, so try stocking up on healthy food that you enjoy eating. It would also be a good idea to get rid of the unhealthy foods in your fridge or pantry.

      Seek Weight Loss Support

      You are more likely to avoid emotional eating when you have support from family and friends. Ask those who live with you to help you make good food choices and talk to them about your goals. You may even wish to consider joining a support group or weight loss programs with others going through similar issues.

      Have a Little Ice Cream

      While reducing your calorie intake can help you lose weight, you should avoid depriving yourself too much. If you eat the same foods every day and never indulge in any of your favorite foods, your cravings will likely increase. When you finally give in, you are more susceptible to binging.

      Thus, you may find it helpful to eat satisfying, weight loss foods and vary your diet. You can also enjoy an occasional treat in moderation, which will help you reduce your cravings. For example, if you want to eat ice cream, limit yourself to one cup.

      How long does it take to break a habit: Image of bowls, plates and spoons along with healthy fruits and nuts.

      Be prepared with healthy snacks, especially for times when you are busy or on the road.

      Rely on Healthy Snacks

      If you get hungry between meals, keep snacks on hand. Just make sure that they are healthy. Some nutrient-dense snacks include:

      • fresh fruits
      • vegetables
      • nuts
      • popcorn (without butter)

      Finding healthy snacks that you enjoy eating will make losing weight much more manageable. Keeping them with you at work or while carrying out your daily routine will prevent you from resorting to fast food or other unhealthy snacks on which you may want to binge.

      Celebration: Image of a man and woman outdoors with their arms up celebrating their fitness

      Recognize and celebrate your wins!

      Learn from Your Mistakes

      If you give in to stress eating, forgive yourself. Try to start fresh and avoid feeling guilty about your mistake. Think about what caused you to overeat, and plan for ways to prevent something similar from happening in the future.

      You should also take pride in your positive changes and celebrate small milestones. Remember that these little steps will significantly impact your health and well-being in the long run.

      Professionals Can Help You Learn How to Lose Weight Fast

      If you’ve tried repeatedly to control your emotional eating habits, but you still find yourself eating too much ice cream, it is time to get professional help? Weight loss pills or bariatric surgery may cause side effects, so why not try a more natural approach? Stress coaches can help you assess your stressors so you can reduce their impact on your health and life.

      Are you ready to take control of your weight loss? Sign up for a complimentary stress eating evaluation today! We can help you learn how to lose weight fast and create healthy food habits.

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