No Excuses: How to break the cycle of stress eating

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - We've all got stress in our lives but it's how you deal with it that could show up as success or failure on the scale.

Ever had one of those days where you could take your frustrations out on the fridge or pantry or better yet the well stocked cookie jar?

We often turn to comfort food when we are under pressure or dealing with one emotion after another. But don't let the stress in your life weigh you down.

After three weeks of counting calories and logging every bite of food, stepping on the scales this time was a lot less intimidating.

I passed my first weight loss goal of ten pounds; that's equivalent two 5 pound logs of yellow rubber fat. I continue to eat 1300 to 1500 calories a day.

But even with my healthier lifestyle that doesn't mean I don't have days when I want to give up and give in to my favorite comfort food-good macaroni and cheese.

One cup has 400 calories. I've been known to eat an entire box-which has 1200 calories and 147 carbohydrates.

"Emotional eating is very prevalent in our society. Stress eating is very prevalent. You've got to stop and look at why you are over eating," said Huntsville Hospital Wellness Center Dietician Linda Steakley.

Sometimes the stress can become so overwhelming that I don't know how to control myself from eating a lot of un-healthy foods.

So, I went to Huntsville Hospital Dietician Linda Steakley for some advice. She had me write the word "stressed" on a piece of paper. Then, write it backwards and it spells dessert.

"People don't want to face the stress, face the emotional reasons so they go and eat. They stuff that feeling down," said Steakley.

So, how do we break the cycle of emotional binge eating?

"If you feel stressed out or emotional and you are headed for something you don't need to eat, wait 10 minutes think about it slow down. Talk it out decide if you really want to eat it," said Steakley.

And if you do give in, Steakley says eat only a bite or two, move on and get back to making healthy food choices.  Select high protein foods, veggies, fruits and dairy. Incorporate good carbohydrates like beans and brown rice into your diet to give you energy.

But watch your portion size and drink a glass of skim milk with your meal. And if you need a low-calorie snack, turn to 94-percent fat free popcorn. You can have three cups for about 100 calories.

I've lost 14 pounds and I can fit into clothes I haven't seen in a long time.

If you want to learn more about my weight loss journey check out my blog.

You can also find out more information by "liking" my Facebook page.

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