Stress. Stress is a hormone. Stress is a natural hormone; however, it can be exacerbated when a person progresses from concern to obsession. Obsessing about an issue happens when you feel that you have no control over it.

When you stress several things happen:

Your cortisol levels shoot up

Your body prompts a neurological response

Your natural “feel good” enzymes feel compromised

What do you do as a result? You begin to search for comfort food because the body is literally saying, “make me feel better. I want to feel good. I need to feel good”. Unfortunately the choices that make the body feel good are temporary and come with a host of friends that will wreak havoc long after the craving has gone to sleep (until it’s next wake up call).

So how do you combat cravings and divorce your emotions from cravings?

  1. Know that behavior toward stress is learned. That means anything that is learned can be unlearned.
  2. Consider adopting a diet that is centered around serotonin, the chemical enzyme responsible for you feeling calm, balanced and at ease.

A few examples would be nuts, pineapple, eggs, salmon (wild caught), turkey, tofu, nut butter…

Work aggressively to avoid:

  1. Processed foods
  2. Artificial sugars
  3. Sodas
  4. Caffeine
  5. Sugary foods
  6. Dairy

Have a Plan of Action.

This is going to require a little work on your part. You have to participate in your plan to be better and feel better that means:

  1. Learn what your stress triggers are
  2. Have your kitchen armed with serotonin-enhancing foods
  3. Keep a healthy snack on you as much as possible
  4. Know ahead of time your healthy go-to public places to grab something
  5. Adopt various forms of relaxation for your body, mind, soul and spirit

Lastly, allow yourself time to PRACTICE improving this area. This is literally a chemical dependency you have adopted and in changing it you will be teaching your body to straighten up and act right…and like a kid it will want to rebel UNTIL it sees your consistency and determination and it will fall in line. So stay consistent. Mess up? No worries, get up, regroup and move forward. As I always say “a life of wellness is simply daily decisions to do better and be better. It doesn’t have an end goal, it lives as long as you do”.