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Have you ever felt like food is the only thing that will calm you down?

It’s no secret that many people manage stress with unhealthy habits, but things like smoking or drinking tend to be taken more seriously than overeating. Yet given rising obesity rates, the diabetes epidemic, and the multitude of health problems that accompany food addiction, we should probably start paying more attention. 

The foods that surround you in your kitchen, your office, the restaurants in your neighborhood, the grocery and convenience stores are created  to be pleasurable – and to leave us wanting more. Most of us aren’t even aware that we’re stress eating until that bag of chips is empty. But your body is smart – it knows that certain foods will release a surge of feel-good chemicals in the brain, so of course you reach for junk food when life is overwhelming. It’s a way to cope. It’s biological. And it doesn’t make you a bad person.

Yet eating to manage stress or boredom is one of the worst habits you can create for yourself. It reinforces to the brain and body that food is the only means to peace and well-being, which, as you know, is completely not true.

Fight, Flight and Food

The first step to managing stress eating is to ask yourself a very simple question:

”Am I hungry?”

Being able to pinpoint when, where, and why you’re snacking when you’re not hungry is critical. Then, it comes down to learning how nutrition, habits, behavioral cues, and emotions can all come into play. And that’s what we do best.

At GreenLite, we understand that everyone is different and not one solution works for all. We work one-on-one with our clients to identify where they got off track.

What About Stress That Doesn’t Go Away?

This is all well and good, you’re thinking, but my life is just stressful – periodAnd that’s not going to change anytime soon.

Fair enough. In some situations, the stressors can’t be removed from daily life, so we work together to find alternate solutions to manage your reactions to stress. After trying a few different tactics to resolve your stress eating, it’s easy to find a way to cope, without food.

At GreenLite, our team of counselors and physicians not only educate our clients on proper nutrition and exercise habits, but also focus on behavioral change to aide in the weight-loss process. Each session is personalized for your specific needs and challenges. We understand how difficult change can be and are with you every step of the way.

So what are you waiting for? Put that bag of chips away for GOOD and get started with your weight loss journey. After all, stress will always be there. But the weight doesn’t have to be.

Written by Dr. Rugh, Medical ProviderHolly Brown, Health
Educator 
and Laura Sturtevant, Health Educator

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