Did you know that stress can directly impact your diet? Here's how to stay on track when you feel overwhelmed

  • 2 Minutes Read
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Diet and stress. Stress and diet. Seems like one feeds off the other no matter which came first. Life always involves stress. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Some good, some bad. Incorporating strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even during unexpected, chaotic times, is vital for preventing a complete derailment of your health plan.

Diet and stress

Diet and Stress

Many people share with me that they do great with their healthy lifestyle plan but fall off the wagon when an unexpected life event occurs. Life is full of curveballs, whether it is a family crisis, an acute illness, a personal tragedy, or another unexpected life event. What is it about life's surprises that shifts our attention from our health goals?

As a registered dietitian nutritionist who is passionate about wellness and prevention, I am selective about what food and drinks pass between my lips. My usual mode is to plan healthy meals and snacks. My health focus (and perhaps my penny-pinching style) keeps me cooking meals from scratch with minimally-processed foods at home. Restaurant meals tend to be a treat for us. So, when I repeatedly traveled across the country to care for my mother, life threw my healthy lifestyle a curveball. The greatest challenge for me was maintaining a healthy focus while dealing with a high-stress situation. While my top priority was caring for my mother, I found myself partially living at the hospital and getting limited sleep. The food choices were usually limited to fast food and hospital cafeteria fare, so that didn't help much, either.

What helped me keep as healthy as possible during a challenging time? See the strategies that worked for me!

Having strategies ready to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, even during unexpected, chaotic times, is essential for preventing a complete derailment of your health plan. What are your strategies for handling diet and stress?

Additional reading on stress and eating

What is stress eating and 3 tips to overcome it

3 Ways you can stop emotional eating today

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Updated: August 20, 2020

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Aug 21, 2020

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