Weekly Weigh-In: Week 5 – How Stress Can Derail a Healthy Eating Plan

I’ve never been able to wrap my head around hearing someone say “I can’t eat because I’m too stressed”. Stress has never stood in the way of eating for me! In fact, stress only fuels the fire for many people. And that’s what I’ve been dealing with lately. The stress of being a tax accountant in February not only causes me to stress-eat, but it also prevents me from going to the gym. And then a vicious cycle of bad eating and no exercise begins. As any medical professional will tell you, exercise is the best medicine for stress, causing endorphins to kick in. Stress also causes increased levels of cortisol, a hormone that controls weight loss or gain. Cortisol helps the body use sugar and fat for energy.

So how can you cope with balancing a good diet with high levels of stress? While taking slow, deep breaths, picture yourself in a thin bikini-ready body! Sometimes I post pictures of shapely celebrities on my frig to remind myself that nothing is more important than your own health. Not your job, not your kids’ never-ending soccer schedules, not your housekeeping, NOTHING! For without good health, you simply cannot be successful in life. Period. So as I am reaching for that bottle of wine or those buffalo wings, or any other calories that will stand in the way of my dieting success, I can see that the temporary fun of calorie-laden treats is simply not worth it in the long run.

I also must lay some of the blame on my dieting downfalls last weekend to the Denver Broncos. If the Super Bowl hadn’t been so bloody boring, maybe I wouldn’t have had so many opportunities to visit the refrigerator, restocking my plate with potato skins. At one point, my husband and I were even arguing over who got the last beer. And neither one of us typically drinks much beer! But it just goes to show you that boredom, like stress, can cause overeating.

The scale was not my friend this morning, but I can’t really blame Peyton. I can truly only blame myself for a lack of willpower and self-control. Alcohol contains empty calories, or calories without any nutritional value. But wait that’s not the only problem with booze! When you consume alcohol, it slows down your body’s ability to burn fat. Just as you start to feel good from the alcohol buzz, your lack of inhibitions tell your brain that it’s ok to have those chips and dip or that piece of chocolate cake. After all, it’s Aunt Mildred’s 70th birthday! But if you insist on celebrating with a few drinks, leave the mixers out of the mix because they are chock full of sugary calories.

I didn’t mean for this column to be such a bummer this week. You only live once and I want all of you to enjoy everything that life has to offer. Just do it in moderation. And keep on exercising!

Previous Weekly Weigh-Ins:

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 1 – Accountability

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 2 – Time To Get Real

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 3 – One Size Does Not Fit All

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 4 — Be Prepared


  1. Keesha Jackson says

    Hang in there. The best mixer is soda water. Or ice. Or both. The best appetizers are raw vegetables. Well, wait. Maybe not the best but okay. Well, wait. Acceptable. And NO dip with them. Sadly you probably inherited your father’s genes.