21 Days to More Energy!!

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE WORLD BY THE STORM?

Is the only thing stopping you, the lack of energy and drive?

You are unhealthy and that’s the reason you can’t live free of sickness and have the energy to DO.
Your need to Drain the toxicity from your body – it’s a weight that looms on your shoulders every day.
Ditch the caffeine, grain and sugar addiction, and instead rely on natural energy and your body to its thing.
Shed those clingy pounds you can’t seem to lose that drain your confidence and self-esteem.
Skyrocket your energy levels, so you can do more of what you freakin’ love
Slip back into your favorite jeans and feel confident in your appearance
Kiss bloat goodbye and say HELLO to a flatter, happier tummy

Guess what? You DO have a choice!
If any of the statements above ring true, it’s time to try a new way of living!

ENTER: THE 21-DAY EAT FOR ENERGY PROGRAM

This program is perfect for you if you want to:
✓ Have the energy to do all the things you are passionate about.
✓ Feel the drive to spend time with your loved ones without excuses.
✓ Learn to properly nourish your body so that you can ROCK your day to day.
✓ Remove excuses from your life.
✓ Want to transform your body into a glowing, fat burning machine.

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My Name is Aileen Milnes and I’m a Wellness coach. I’ll be guiding you through this 21-Day EAT FOR ENERGY Program.
13 Years ago I was becoming increasingly unwell. I was exhausted, had hormonal imbalances. Stomach bloat, allergies and weight gain. Through Detoxing and elimination of different foods I regain my life back…I love working with others to understand their bodies and move towards a healthier wellbeing.

Did you know: Your body is carrying roughly 5-10 pounds of toxicity (inflammation) at any given time? This means there’s a reason for your lack of energy, bloated belly, or that extra weight that’s staying on
The toughest part? For most of my clients there is a common factor when it comes to their struggle for health: Lack of energy. When your body is on the verge of exhaustion there’s a direct correlation with your performance in every aspect of your life and mood.
But don’t get discouraged! There’s a simple and easy to follow solution for your lack of energy!

What’s included in this program?
Eating for Energy Guide: three weeks of comprehensive, easy to follow material that will not only push you emotionally to make changes but also will give you the tools to regain control of your days with natural, self-sufficient ways.
Recipe Guide: packed with delicious, easy-to-make recipes that will have you feeling satisfied and producing energy for hours – so you can do what you’ve put off on your list for so long!
Daily Email Support: just like it sounds, I’ll be in your inbox daily to provide support & accountability
Daily Schedule: That will help you fully embrace and understand this program. No more incomplete guides. This is the real deal!
A Shopping List: to make trips to the supermarket super simple, which makes prepping, preparing and cooking a breeze
Suggested Meals: To take the guessing game out of the picture. You are going to feel like you got this in the bag!
A Cheat Sheet: That you can refer back to so that you can experiment with variety when it comes to the foods that will super boost your energy.
Food Diary: this amazing tool will help you keep track of how you’re feeling physically, mentally and emotionally throughout the program.

PLUS you get a BONUS One HOUR Session with me when you sign up now!
Your investment in yourself is only $127

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What makes this program different?
This program is your full arsenal of tools to help you overcome daily fatigue. It has a comprehensive guide, daily schedules, and even a shopping list. We sometimes get very confused in the supermarket. I want to remove any bit of hesitation out of the picture. Because I know you can get this done!

With this program, you will never feel deprived, hungry or lethargic. As a matter of fact, you’ll be quite the opposite!

Here are some of the results you can expect:
● Look younger and feel lighter
● Have TONS of Energy
● Better Sleep.
● Less Bloating
● More productivity and desire for the things you love.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Are you ready to rock?

The 21 Day Eat for Energy Program begins on 1st JULY
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Energy is what we are lacking!
Well, really it’s time and energy.

You want to feel good. You want to be able to get up and start going to the gym instead of lounging on the couch. You want to try that dance class, or just simply complete a project you’ve put on the back burner. The “Ah I wish I had more energy!” or “I’m not doing anything today because I worked 8 hours” – Guess what? You can do so much more!

What if in less than a month you regain the energy and motivation to do all the things you love and spend time with your family and close ones? Isn’t that what life is all about? Sure, the couch seems heavenly right now, but by the time you are done with my program, you will have forgotten that feeling and ask yourself “what was I doing all this time?” – WASTING IT.

LIFE IS SHORT. YOU CAN BE DOING SO MUCH MORE!

It’s time to:

▪ Eliminate foods that wreak havoc on your body, leaving you bloated and blah
▪ Learn the concept of resting
▪ Improve the health of your digestive system
▪ Ditch the sugar cravings for good and instead, learn about healthy treats to eat
▪ Discover the tools you need to de-stress in the real world
▪ KICK YOUR BODY INTO GEAR!

… and more!

It’s time to put your health first and start feeling like the beautiful & productive person you are!
I created this energy boosting for 5 BIG reasons:
1. I want to empower YOU (yeah, you!) with the right tools for a healthy lifestyle, so you can improve your life, your body and your mind!
2. The world needs to know fancy pills or powders aren’t required for optimal health.
3. You can use this program over and over, especially until you acclimate to this lifestyle.
4. You deserve to feel amazing and full of energy!

So…
Are YOU ready to refresh and renew?
Are YOU ready to change the way you look and feel?

So… what happens when you actually go through my program?
● You’ll feel 10 years younger…no, make that 15!
● You can hit your weight loss goals with the ease & grace of a swan. More energy to DO, means the possibilities here are endless.
● Your fight with food can stop being such an ugly, uphill battle

Fact: YOU HAVE SO MUCH POTENTIAL.
This is a delicious adventure of discovery and releasing what’s no longer serving you – both physically and emotionally.
And when you learn to finally let go of it all, you can access amazing freedom of both body and mind.
Besides, who doesn’t want to feel full of energy and drive?

The 21 Day Eat for Energy Program starts 1st July

SIGN ME UP NOW!

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Top 5 Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in the antioxidant vitamin E as well as medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids that create a powerful moisture barrier on skin. Coconut oil is known to help strengthen hair and protect it from natural stressors. Want to know more amazing benefit that coconut oil offers? It has some amazing health as well as skincare benefits. So, we have brought you the top 5 benefits of coconut oil to help you benefit from this amazing oil. Let me take you through these benefits.

Coconut Oil

1. Hair Care
The long and luscious hair of the women living in tropical coastal regions are due to none other reason than coconut oil. They use this oil to nourish their hair daily. This thick oil gives the strands not only shine but also strength nourishing them from within. It helps to reduce the protein-loss effectively while working as the perfect conditioner for your hair. it is also effective in treating damaged and dry hair providing them with essential proteins and promoting the process if healing. Massaging your scalp with coconut oil regularly can really be helpful promoting healthy and luscious hair.
2. Weight Loss
Coconut oil is also helpful in the process of weight loss. Researches have shown that including coconut oil in your regular diet can help to reverse the problems related to the hypothyroid gland while restoring the slowed metabolism by stimulating the thyroid hormones to reset the body by increasing the calorie-burning power of the body by up to 50%. The coconut oil contains fatty acids which are medium-chain triglycerides which are easier to digest, help in stimulating the metabolism of the body while restoring the natural enzyme activity of the body which are needed to restore a healthy weight of the body. Studies have shown that almost three tablespoons of coconut oil when utilized daily can help to normalize the low thyroid gland function. And as a result, improve the metabolic rate of the body promoting weight loss.
3. Skin Care
Coconut is an amazing moisturizer and for that reason, it is being used in almost all of the moisturizing skin care products. It is also beneficial in helping reduce the redness of the skin as it usually happens due to skin dryness and tightness. Coconut oil is loaded with long chain saturated fatty acids boost the hydration of the skin by penetrating the barrier if the skin. It is extremely easy to apply topically since it turns solid at the room temperature. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and therefore can be used to reduce the inflammation and the redness of the facial skin.
4. Boosts Digestion
Coconut oil is a source of fatty acids that are antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal that are helpful in keeping gut healthy by restoring acidity level of stomach. It helps to boost the digestive system while preventing various stomach and digestion-related issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is rich in saturated fats that have antimicrobial properties and help to fight against fungi, bacteria, and parasites that may become a cause of indigestion. It is also helpful in the absorption of many nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
5. Improves Immunity
Coconut oil is also helpful in improving your immunity. It helps to boost the immune system due to its constituents like antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, which have antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. All of these properties help the immune system to become stronger and fight against the diseases easily.
So, go ahead and make coconut oil a part of your lifestyle for luscious hair, glowing skin and overall a healthier you!

 

Fat Burning Snack Ideas

If your mission is to lose weight, then burning fat should be at the top of your list. One way to do this is by picking some good fat-burning snacks. The following snacks are really easy to grab and take with you, but also burn lots of fat and get you on the path of weight loss.

figsFigs
Figs are a type of fruit that not many people are familiar with. They have a lot of fiber, are sweet like some of your other favorite fruits, and can fill you up quickly. Figs help you to curb your cravings and reduce your appetite by filling you up, but they also help to burn fat at a faster rate. They are ideal when you are trying to find an easy snack you can just grab on your way out the door, but something light that is going to help you burn fat during the day. They come fresh or dried figs.kale chips

Kale Chips
Another type of snack that is healthy and will also help to burn more fat is kale chips. These can be purchased in a health food store, or you can easily make them yourself. By making them on your own, you reduce the sodium and other additives, plus you save quite a bit of money. All you need to do is cut kale into smaller pieces, put it on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil with some sea salt and pepper. Bake them for about 15 minutes or until crisp and store in a plastic bag or container. These are filling and super low in fat, plus kale is great for burning more fat.

pistaciosPistachios
In terms of nuts, pistachios are one of the most delicious, and also happen to be one of the best options when you want to burn more fat. Sure, they might be a little higher in calories than what you are used to, but this is healthy fat. Eating them as a snack keeps the carbs low and your protein and energy high. Put them in portion bags that you can quickly grab and throw in your purse or lunch bag on your way out the door. This will prevent you from over-indulging in them, but make sure you always have a healthy snack with you.
Avocado
Avocado is another fat-burning food that is easy to enjoy as a snack. Open up an avocado and just sprinkle some salt on it, or you can enjoy it mashed with some salsa, similar to avocado. Dip some veggies in it and you’re good to go.

 

 

Meal Preping 123

meal prep

Here’s how an hour or two of food prep on the weekend can help you put together healthier meals for the entire week.

Make-ahead food ideas help me stay organized, save time and always provide something healthy and delicious for when I’m hungry. I like to spend an hour or two on the weekend preparing some staple foods that I can use all week. Take a look at my top eight make-ahead food ideas.

Salad Greens
Pre-washed salad greens are convenient, but they can be pricey. Instead, I buy a variety of lettuces and greens, break them into bite-sized pieces for salads, then wash and spin them in my salad spinner. Then (don’t laugh) I put them in a pillowcase and store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The salad spinner gets the greens really dry, and the pillowcase works better than plastic bags to keep them fresh and crisp. The greens don’t get soggy this way, and they stay fresh for a full week.

Pre-cut Vegetables
I pack a salad nearly every day for lunch, and I make a salad almost every night for dinner, too. To make it easy, I prepare a lot of different veggies and store them in individual containers in the refrigerator. My standbys are thinly sliced cucumbers, red onion and bell pepper, grated carrots and chopped parsley. To prep my food ahead of time, I often blanch some broccoli or cauliflower florets or roast some zucchini slices or asparagus spears in a hot oven and chill those. These veggies quickly and easily get worked into my lunch salad and dinners throughout the week.

Pan-Seared Chicken Pieces
Cooking some chicken in advance is a real lifesaver for me. Starting with about two pounds (1kg) of chicken tenders (goujons), I sprinkle them with a little salt, pepper and paprika. Then I brown them on one side in a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I flip them over, add a few tablespoons of liquid to the skillet (white wine, broth, water, or lemon juice), cover the skillet and let them cook for 5-6 minutes until they’re done. I often add these to lunch salads, stuff some into whole grain pita pockets with veggies and hummus, or use them to make a quick soup or pasta for dinner.

Beans or Lentils
Slow cookers are great for making homemade beans or lentils. I like to slow cook black beans with onions, garlic and spices. Once they’re cooked, I keep them in the refrigerator to mix into my salad for lunch or use them as a base for a soup or chili.

Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are one of the best protein sources around, and it only takes a few minutes to hard boil them. I use hard-boiled eggs as a protein source in my salads, and I often grab one for a quick snack. I like to spread a rice cake with some grainy mustard then top it with a sliced egg and some of my sliced vegetables.

Tuna Salad
When I have tuna salad in the refrigerator, it’s a lot easier for me to work more fish into my diet. I mix flaked tuna with either mashed avocado or hummus, a little mustard and a lot of chopped vegetables (again, those pre-cut vegetables). It serves as a protein source for my salad at lunch, or I’ll use a little scoop for a high-protein snack on some whole grain crackers.

Hummus
Hummus takes only a few minutes to make and will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a week. It’s also very inexpensive to make, compared with the price of store-bought versions. Start with a can of beans (garbanzos/chickpeas are traditional, but other beans work just as well). Drain the beans, rinse and drain again, then whirl in the blender with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth. Hummus with raw veggies makes a great snack, but I also use it in place of mayonnaise in tuna or egg salad, or I’ll thin it down with a little vinegar and water for a delicious salad dressing or sauce on steamed vegetables.

Salad Dressing
Bottled dressings are expensive and often high in salt, sugar and preservatives. Making your own dressing is simple and allows you to control the ingredients. I mix two parts olive oil to one part acid (citrus juice, vinegar), then add salt and pepper to taste. I vary the acid and often use a blend, like lime juice and rice vinegar. You can experiment with adding dried herbs, mustard, garlic powder or onion powder.

Healthy Heart Eating

Healthy Heart

Heart-healthy meals start with heart-healthy ingredients. Here are some tips for selecting and preparing foods that support heart health.

To me, calling a diet “heart-healthy” can be a bit misleading. It seems to suggest that a heart-healthy diet is somehow different from a more general “healthy diet,” but they’re really one and the same.

A heart-healthy diet is one that calls for a variety of good-for-you foods––including lean proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables, adequate amounts of fiber and modest amounts of sugar, salt and saturated fat. Sounds like a healthy diet to me.
A heart-healthy diet not only supports the health of your heart, it also supports your overall health in a number of ways. Low fat protein foods keep you full and give your body what it needs to build and repair important body proteins, all while keeping your total fat and saturated fat in check. The right carbohydrates give your body the fuel it needs, along with generous doses of vitamins, minerals and fiber. And small amounts of the right fats contribute essential fatty acids and flavor. When taken all together, these foods make up a well-balanced diet that’s filling and flavorful.

Heart-Healthy Proteins
Why:
The protein that you eat every day provides the basic building blocks that your body needs to perform literally hundreds of functions. Protein is found in a variety of plant and animal foods, but saturated fats often tag along—especially in the case of animal proteins. So, you’ll want to select from a variety of plant proteins and lean/low fat animal sources. Fish is generally a good choice, since it contributes heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
What:
Look for plant proteins like lentils and beans, and particularly the complete protein of soy and soy products. Also include eggs, fish and seafood, poultry (especially white meat), nonfat and low fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat.

How to:
Aim for several vegetarian meals per week that rely on beans, lentils and soy-based foods like tempeh and tofu to provide protein. In recipes that call for meat or poultry, experiment with using tofu or seafood instead. Replace high-fat meats with lower fat choices (ground poultry breast can replace ground beef, for example).

Heart-Healthy Carbohydrates
Why:
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for your body’s engine. Their fiber content can also help fill you up, which can help you control your weight. Many fruits and vegetables are rich sources of potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure. And some are also good sources of nitrate, a compound used by the body to make nitric oxide which supports the health of your blood vessels. Avoid carbohydrates from sugars and highly refined grains, which offer up much less nutrition and more calories per bite.
What:
Keep your focus on vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains and whole grain products to provide the carbs your body needs. Try to reduce your intake of sweets, juices, sugary drinks and refined grain products like white rice, and “white” flour products like regular pasta, white bread, cereals and crackers.

How to:
Aim for a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack. Add fruits and vegetables to your protein shakes and use them for snacks, and add veggies to soups, stews, casseroles and mixed dishes. Frozen fruits and vegetables are fine—they’re convenient and their nutrient content is preserved. Choose whole grains––such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, wild rice and oats––over refined grains. To retain nutrients in vegetables, cook by steaming, microwaving or stir-frying.

Heart-Healthy Fats
Why:
Your body needs small amounts of fat in order to function properly. What’s important is choosing
the right fats and keeping your overall fat intake moderate. In general, fats that are derived from plant sources are considered to be more heart-healthy than animal fats. Animal fats contain more saturated fats, which tend to raise blood cholesterol levels.
What:
Nuts, seeds, avocados and olives are some of the best sources of healthy fats, as are the oils that are derived from these foods. Olive oil and canola oil are good sources of monounsaturated fatty acids and are great for cooking. Small amounts of nuts and seeds can add a lot of flavor to dishes. Limit your intake of sources of saturated fats like butter and shortening, as well as foods that contain a lot of animal fat such as cheese, fatty meats and ice cream.
How to:
Use olive and canola oil for cooking. Use mashed avocado to replace foods like mayonnaise, sour cream or butter in cooking and at the table. Use moderate amounts of nuts for snacks (heart-healthy, but the calories can add up).

4 Great Food Pairing for Better Nutrition

pairing-foods.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, chocolate and strawberries make a delicious combo, but there’s more to pairing foods than combining items that taste great together. Get the most out of your diet by learning to pair foods that complement each other nutritionally, too.

How to Get Better Nutrition With Food Pairing

1)Colorful veggies with a little fat.
Many fruits and vegetables contain compounds called carotenoids. These are natural pigments that give foods like tomatoes, carrots and spinach their beautiful hues––from the pigments lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein, respectively. Carotenoids function as antioxidants in the body, which is one reason why fruits and vegetables are such an important part of a healthy diet. These important compounds are fat-soluble, which means that when you eat your veggies with a little bit of fat, your body is able to take up more carotenoids. So, adding some healthy fat from avocado or olive oil to your salad, for example, will help you absorb the carotenoids found in the romaine lettuce, carrots and tomatoes.

2)Vitamin C with iron-containing veggies and grains.
Iron comes in two different forms in foods. One form called ‘heme’ iron is found in fish, meat and poultry, and it’s more easily absorbed by the body than the so-called ‘non-heme’ iron found in certain veggies and grains. When you take in some vitamin C along with a source of non-heme iron, your body will absorb the iron better. And it doesn’t take much: the amount of vitamin C in one orange or one tomato can nearly triple iron absorption. So, tomatoes in your chili will help you absorb the iron in the beans. Strawberries will help you take up the iron in your cereal. And the iron in spinach will be better absorbed if you toss some orange or grapefruit wedges into your spinach salad.

3) Lemon and Green tea phytonutrients, which are naturally occurring and contain some unique and beneficial antioxidants called catechins, act to help protect the body’s cells and tissues from oxidative damage. When you add lemon to your green tea, the vitamin C can help your body absorb these beneficial compounds. If you don’t like lemon in your tea, have a fruit that’s rich in vitamin C along with your brew, like a bowl of berries or a sliced orange.

4) Fish and leafy greens.
When you drink milk that’s fortified with vitamin D (as is nearly all the milk sold in the US), the vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium in the milk. But there’s another great way to pair these two nutrients––fish and veggies. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel provide vitamin D, and leafy greens like turnip greens, mustard greens and kale provide calcium. Pairing the two will help your body take up the calcium in the veggies.

Personalise your Own Healthy Diet

build your own healthy diet

A balanced diet involves more than just meeting your nutrition needs––it’s a personal plan that balances with your likes, your dislikes and your lifestyle.

People often ask me, “Is dieting good, or bad?” It’s such a general question that I often don’t quite know how to answer––partly because we toss around the words “diet” and “dieting” so much that they’ve almost lost their meaning.
In truth, we’re all on a diet every day. We each have our own dietary habits and patterns that make up our usual “diet.” Sometimes we make changes to that diet––often to cut down on our calories––in which case you might say you’re “dieting” or “on my diet” (that is, until a few weeks later…when you’re “off my diet”).

What Makes a Diet Good or Bad?
There are certainly “good” diets and “bad” diets. We all know people who choose foods carefully and eat well, just as we know others who seem to eat nothing but fast food and soda. And if you need to lose weight, then “dieting,” in the most general sense, is probably a good thing. But it really depends on how you approach your weight loss.
If your weight loss diet is one you can stick with, is well-balanced and leads to a healthy rate of weight loss, then yes, in that case dieting is definitely “good.” But if the weight loss diet you’re attempting to follow is unbalanced, if it’s so strict that you can’t stick with it, or if it’s so low in calories that you have no energy or you lose weight too quickly, I’d say that’s “bad.”

The Best Diet is the One that Works for You
The most successful “diet” is a nutrition plan that works for you day in and day out, provides your body with the nutrients it needs and includes foods that you enjoy eating. It’s a diet that works with your lifestyle, that you can follow for the rest of your life and is uniquely yours.
With so many different “diets” out there, how do you put together the plan that works for you? The best way to start is to follow some basic principles, and then refine your eating pattern until you find a way of eating every day that works for you.

Building a Healthy Diet from the Ground Up
I like to think of building your diet in much the same way you would if you were constructing a house. You start with the basic foundation, you build up your supporting structures, and then you add the finishing touches to personalize it, and make it uniquely yours.
If you were building a house from the ground up, you’d have a budget. Similarly, if you’re building your diet, the first thing you need to know is how many calories you have to work with. Just as houses come in all different sizes, so do people and their calorie requirements. Calorie needs are individual to you, and are determined, in large part, by your body composition and the
amount of activity you get. You can’t plan out what you’re going to eat until you have an idea of your daily calorie needs to help you achieve your dietary goals (whether it’s to lose weight, gain
or stay the same).

Now, just like your house, your diet needs a strong foundation. Ideally, the core of your diet will be made up of lean proteins, health carbohydrate sources (in the form of vegetables, fruits and whole grains), and modest amounts of beneficial fats. Your goal is to divide up your calories from protein, carbohydrates and fats in a way that suits your needs.
In most cases, about half your calories are going to come from carbohydrates. The other half will be, more or less, roughly divided between protein and fat. The proteins, carbohydrates and fats you eat, along with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, provide the supporting structure to your diet.

Personalize Your Diet for Long Term Success
Once the basic structure is finished, you get to decorate and personalize your house. The same holds true for your diet. You get to personalize your nutrition plan by picking and choosing the
foods you’ll eat that work with your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle, your budget––while still meeting your nutrition goals.
Personalization is really the key to your success. Focus on choosing the healthy foods that you enjoy the most. What really matters is the overall quality of your diet. And with so many healthy
foods out there, there’s no shortage of items to pick and choose from. It wouldn’t be “good” if you felt uncomfortable every time you walked into your own home––if it didn’t feel like “you.” Similarly, a diet is only “good” when it’s good for you––because it nourishes you, and because it just feels right. And once you feel natural and comfortable with the diet that you can “call your
own,” your weight should take care of itself.

 

Stress Eating

 

My collegue  Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training  posted a great article to help us cope with stree and eating…

Stress eating doesn’t usually take away stress, and if it’s done too often, it can also add pounds. Here are some tips to beat this habit.”

  • stress eating

Emotional Eating: It Happens.
Emotional eating happens to many of us from time to time. Maybe you’ve cheered yourself up with a bowl of ice cream after an unusually tough day, or sneaked a few French fries from your best friend’s plate while recapping a disastrous date. But when emotional eating gets out of hand—when eating is the first and most common response to negative thoughts and feelings—it’s time to get a grip.
What is stress eating?
Stress eating, or emotional eating, is when you eat in order to escape whatever bad feelings you’re experiencing, in the hope that food will make you feel better. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision, but more often it’s just a mindless response to a vague, negative emotion. You may not know what’s bothering you, but you’re pretty sure that food is the one thing that will cure whatever ails you.

Is it emotional or physical hunger?
There are few tell-tale signs that can help you distinguish emotional hunger/stress eating from true, physical hunger.
Emotional stress eating usually comes on suddenly. You start feeling stressed or tense, and wham! You’re craving nachos. On the other hand, physical hunger tends to come on gradually. You’re starting to feel hungry but you can wait to eat, which gives you some time to choose wisely and satisfy that hunger with something that’s good for you.
Stress eating usually causes a craving for a food that’s sugary, fatty and high calorie—and often very specific (not simply “chocolate,” but “a slice of triple layer fudge cake from Fred’s Diner on 6th Street”). But when you’re physically hungry, food in general sounds good to you. You’re willing to consider several options that will satisfy your physical hunger, which means you’re more likely to make a better choice.
Once your physical hunger is satisfied and your stomach is comfortably full, it’s a signal that you’ve had enough and you tend to stop eating. But when emotions are the driver, it’s easy to ignore what your stomach is telling you—and you wind up eating way too much while attempting to make yourself feel better.
Stress eating might lift your mood momentarily – then, just as quickly, shame and guilt often move in. On the other hand, when you finish a meal that’s satisfied your physical hunger, you don’t usually feel guilty afterwards for having eaten.

Tips for dealing with stress eating behaviors
Keep a food journal – A food journal can really help you see what triggers your stress eating. Whenever you feel the need to eat, make a note of how hungry you are on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = I’m faint with hunger; 10 = I’m so stuffed I have to loosen my clothing). Then write down how you’re feeling at the moment.
Own up to your feelings – You know that emotions are the trigger for your stress eating, so why not acknowledge them? It’s okay to be mad or lonely or bored sometimes. The feelings may be unpleasant but they’re not dangerous, and you don’t always need to ‘fix’ them.

Work on your coping skills – Every time you eat in response to stress, it’s just a reminder that you can’t cope with your emotions. When stress strikes, try asking yourself, “What’s the worst thing that will happen if I don’t eat?” Yes, your stress level might rise a bit, but the feeling will pass. Practice tolerating your emotions, or finding other ways to deal with your stress.
Find alternatives to eating – Take a few moments to reflect on your feelings and think of ways you can solve your problem. Make a list of things you can do instead of eating, like walking, listening to music or meditating.
Unlearn your bad habits – Emotional eaters continually reinforce the idea that the best way to treat negative emotions is with food. And like other bad habits, stress eating happens before you’ve even had a chance to think about it. So, you need to “un-learn” your bad habits and practice doing something other than eating when a bad day strikes.
Wait it out – Stress eaters often are afraid that if they don’t satisfy the urge to eat, the craving will just get worse. But when they practice delaying tactics, they’re often surprised that the urge simply passes. Rather than immediately giving in to your urges, promise yourself you’ll wait a few minutes and let the craving pass.

Be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to work on your stress eating. If you find that these tactics aren’t working for you, ask your health care provider if counseling or group support might be helpful for you.
By Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training