The Secret to Beating Stress Eating

Steph Wagner

March 16, 2018

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The Secret to Beating Stress Eating

The Secret to Beating Stress Eating | Gastric Sleeve Success | FoodCoach.Me

Is there really a secret to not stress eating??

It seems like a catchy title but is there actually a secret to beating the HUGE temptation to eat that stress brings on…?

Of all the things weight loss surgery can do for someone, the one thing it can’t do is stop the stress in your life.

Early out of surgery you may have a glimpse at combating stress eating because of the parameters surgery has over you such as not being able to fit as much in your stomach in the first place, a low appetite, your scared of ruining something or you feel very focused or motivated because it’s all just begun and your results are there!

99.9% of patients agree (yes, I did make that up) that the further out you get from surgery, the easier it is for your old habits to creep back in.

Usually because of the stress of life didn’t stop for your surgery. The routines of life were just as demanding. You got off track planning ahead for the day. Something big happened in your life that you weren’t ready for. Or maybe it wasn’t anything big, it was the consistent string of a little here and a little there that opened the door to turning to food when the stress begins.

Before I tell you the secret, I want to encourage you…affirm you…that this is not about you being weak.

It’s so easy to beat yourself up.

The first thing I encourage patients to do is forgive themselves. Remind them nothing has been broken. They aren’t weak. They didn’t blow it. This is life. This is common. This is real. This is the part of the journey that those beautiful success stories don’t highlight.

Stress is biological. When you are stressed, cortisol is released…the STRESS HORMONE and it tells you to eat. It tells you eat to high starch foods. This is the part of the fight or flight system in your body that is meant to help us survive should a famine be coming on. Except for the majority of us, the famine isn’t coming on. That’s just how our brain and our body fundamentally works.

But. There is good news here. You CAN do something about it. No, not block your sisters phone calls…or maybe? 

There are TWO areas to focus on here. Your PHYSICAL needs and your EMOTIONAL needs.

For more on the physical needs, this is the video I recommend watching. It’s part of a video series each new FoodCoach.Me email subscriber gets. Meeting your physical needs first will set you up for success when emotional eating comes on. Click here to join the email list and get the full series of videos! 

But now for the secret. Are you ready?




In my nearly 9 years of being a bariatric dietitian working with patients I can tell you the common theme.

Hardly anyone is doing enough for themselves.

They are doing everything for everyone else. They don’t say no enough. They don’t cancel things when they feel too tired. They push through.

There is certainly a time for pushing through…but…in my opinion it’s more often the case that we need to say “I can’t make it tonight” and stay home and take a bath instead.

We don’t carve out time to finish a good book.

When we write down the priorities of the day and the things to get done, they don’t include putting our feet up. Calling a friend. Going for a walk because its NICE OUT rather than because I have to get my 20 minutes in or I won’t get to my goal.

Are we focusing enough on ourselves?

I know…that immeidately sounds selfish. But here’s the argument I have on why it is not selfish:

SELF CARE is not SELF-ISH. It’s essential.

If you are running on empty and your dog just ran away…you’re going to lose it.

If you are filling up your tank and scheduling breaks and rest and care for yourself and your dog runs away…you’re going to think clearly and handle this stressor well.

If your self care tank is full, you will feel in control, will think clearly on what to do next for that situation and in turn will be less likely to turn to food.

I’m telling you.

This is the secret to fighting stress eating. Meeting your PHYSICAL NEEDS and focusing on SELF CARE.

Not so sure this fits you? Test it. What’s one thing you can do for yourself this week that would leave you feeling more rested, more relaxed and more like yourself?

No matter what life is handing you right now, I wish you the very best and that you see it through with grace and endurance. This too shall pass.

Steph :)

Bariatric Dietitian

PS If you enjoyed this topic, I think you would love my Back on Track Video Course AND My Stress Eating Video Course! Both are immediately available after joining the membership side of FoodCoach.Me

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2 thoughts on “The Secret to Beating Stress Eating”

  1. This is the single best advice I’ve received. (Taking care of yourself). In preparation for the focus challenge I began looking at how I was carrying for myself. I saw to getting enough sleep, taking my vitamins properly, getting plenty water, and started exercising. When we actually started the Challenge, my body was ready to go, and following the program has been almost easy. It helps me want to do this because I feel great physically and mentally. Thanks so much for all you do. Food Coach Me has been the best resource I’ve found since WLS, nearly 5 years ago. Rosemary

  2. Thank you for this message and your kinds words! I am very excited this report of focusing on your basic needs and having a smooth transition into the challenge..and that you feel great! You should see the big smile you have given me! :) Keep up the great work, Rosemary.

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