I had a session yesterday, with a client in the midst of a very busy stretch at work. For this post, I’ll call her “Busy”. Busy described being overscheduled, under rested and working around the clock. “At the end of the day, I feel I deserve a treat.” This is what we, at Foodtrainers, call illogical logic. If there’s a lot that’s making you unhappy (work/stress), why not do something that makes you happy (treat/dessert), right? No.
While I am pro-treat, context matters. If Busy had a handful of (insert dietary kryptonite) crackers or nuts, it would provide a couple of minutes of pleasure, an escape, but then what? She’d still be tired and anxious, maybe even more anxious if there’s guilt about stress eating. And who says we stick to 1 handful?
So, what’s the answer, did I recommend she just say no? Of course not. If you’re stressed to the max, you need a plan that will decrease that stress. Elevated stress increases ghrelin levels, encouraging you to eat. If you don’t address the stress, it’s very challenging to avoid stress eating. Busy and I made a list of 10-15-minute stress reducers: reading a mindless magazine, taking a magnesium bath or steam shower, doing some box breathing, foam rolling etc. In just 15 minutes we can significantly change what our stress and appetite hormones are up to.
Busy decided she’d follow her stress busting activity with a cup of Bellocq tea. We like this tea because it’s caffeine free and delicious but hibiscus does slightly decrease blood pressure.To clarify, Busy has the option to have 2 squares of dark chocolate (Good Chocolate) after dinner. So, it’s not as though she’s without deliciousness. What I’m emphasizing is the rules/portions shouldn’t change at the end of a stressful day.
What are your favorite, easy ways to decrease stress?