Losing With Lisa: My Experience With Stress Snacking

I want to share a moment of weakness that I think we can all relate to. I am studying for a certified exam that I am taking next Friday. It's incredibly important to me and one of my long-time professional goals. When (not “IF”) I pass, I will be in the distinct class of only 100 thousand accountants in the United States to hold this certification. That said, the exam is HARD and the preparation has been months of grueling study. As next Friday continues to draw near, I'm getting increasingly nervous. I’ve invested a lot of learning time in this and the testing fees are expensive so failure could be very costly if I have to retake the exam. This is actually my second attempt already.


Last evening while studying an old familiar feeling came about. Yes...it was stress hunger. I had already had my healthy dinner of chicken and broccoli and my macro nutrients and water intake were all in check. Why in the world was I famished?



The harsh reality is I wasn’t. I had to come out of my own head and ask myself “Why are you feeling this way?” I know it was stress induced and while I couldn’t control the cravings, I had to find a way to control my actions. After some much needed self-reflection, this is what I came up with. I deal with obesity. I must learn to control my addictive urges. This will be a lifelong challenge. Some days will be much harder than others. There will undoubtedly be real life stress factors. Cravings are temporary.


Solutions:

  1. Keep my surroundings free of tempting unhealthy choices. Instead I stock my pantry with nutritious items that will get me through a difficult craving

  2. Be mindful of what is driving my urge to binge.

  3. Drink a glass of water before considering a seductive snack.

  4. Think about the physical and emotional consequences of letting myself down by giving in to temptation.

These tips may sound easy but for those of us who struggle with this disease, we know very well how harsh these moments of sudden and severe cravings really are and how difficult it is to overcome them.

Anyways during my moment of vulnerability, I opted to snack on some high protein options that are part of my program protocol. I enjoyed two additional snacks (a bag of protein chips & a pack of protein wafers). This was unusual for me as I do not have such cravings as often as I used to thanks to the lifestyle changes I’ve made thus far. I typically stick to one snack per day. Pre-portioned options work best for me and most importantly I consume them slowly with a drink of water in between each bite.

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