Why is it that when we are stressed, we make the WORST choices for our health?

Think about the last time you were stressed or anxious. Are you proud of the way you handled it? Did you choose to eat great? Did you do something good for yourself? I believe that this is what really holds us back the most when it comes to making the right choices daily and treating our body like it’s the only one you’re ever gonna get. You know it is, right?

What if you were able to obtain your dream car tomorrow? A Ferrari? A Corvette? Would you put diesel fuel in it? Of course not. And cars depreciate in value no matter what.

Our bodies are with us until the end. Yet we insist on consuming less than quality food. Why? Stress. Instant gratification. Lack of planning.ice cream

Now I could tell you to exercise or eat carrots when you’re stressed. But how many times have you actually done that? And if you attempted it, did it work? And what about when it’s 10:30 at night and all you wanna do is let Mr. Ben and Jerry comfort you while you watch a movie on the Lifetime channel? (okay, maybe you’ve never done that 😉 )

So what are you really going to do so that you can start making positive daily choices that make a difference? For starters, forget willpower and start with skill-power. Willpower is an exhaustible resource and I am telling you now that if you are going to operate on sheer willpower you will lose.

Practically, start with your home, or desk drawer, or regular driving route. Clean out your pantry of the trigger foods that don’t do you any justice. You know, those foods that you really can’t stop eating until the bag is empty, no matter how many servings are in there. You can lie to yourself all you want about how you will have self control this time and make the bag last longer. But you will lose. These are foods that are highly addicting and contain fat, sugar and/or salt. It’s easy to say no once in the grocery store than to have to say no every time you go in your own kitchen. It can become your own war-zone.

So make it a rule for yourself that if there is a certain food you have a love-hate relationship with, that you will set boundaries around it.

1. You will eat it only when you are not emotional
2. You will eat it only in the presence of others

We consume things for convenience. For example, you probably have a piece of fruit or vegetable growing mold in your fridge right now. I know I do. Why? Because we can’t just pull it out of the fridge and eat it. What I suggest to do, is to wash and cut them up when you bring them home. Put them in front of your refrigerator in clear containers, where you can see them easily. You will be more likely to cook or snack on them before they become a science experiment.

Lastly, think about taking the “6 Cs” out of your diet. What are those? You might hate me. Crackers, cookies, candy, cake, chips & cereal. Why? Because they are refined carbohydrates with no nutritional value and leave you hungry. Great for instant gratification, terrible for lasting energy and satisfaction. Mostly likely a trigger food.

Instead, choose something high in fiber and/or protein. Think celery and nut butter, fresh fruit and low fat cheese, greek yogurt and berries, 2 hard boiled eggs, carrots and celery with hummus, etc.

Make the choice today and then grab a giant garbage bag. Time for some spring cleaning in your kitchen!

P.S. If you’re looking for online support with like minded moms striving to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight, you may be interested in joining my free support group here.

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Jillian McMullen, CSOWM, RDN, LDN

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