Easy stress eating cure + LiveWell360

by Kim on October 24, 2014

So I’ve been obsessively watching this Weight Loss for Women Online Conference the last two days—did you hear about this? It features lots of big name speakers from the blogging/paleo communities, like Mark Sisson, Diane Sanfilippo, Sarah Fragoso, Stefani Ruper, and Katie the Wellness Mama (yes, I’m pretty sure her last name is “the Wellness Mama”).

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Yesterday was Day 2 of the conference, and I got totally wrapped up in the talk on the psychology of eating with Marc David and Emily Rosen. (Each video is only available for free for 48 hours, so you might still be able to catch it if you go NOW!)

I’ve heard these guys speak before, and was completely enthralled then too. Emily has actually gained and lost 100 pounds multiple times, and researched her way through the whole thing, so she’s definitely earned her expertise in the area.

When you factor in the whole mental aspect of weight loss, everything becomes so much more complex—and then you look back at the old “move more and eat less” philosophy, and it just sounds sort of ridiculous. Of course it’s not that easy, or we’d all have it figured out by now.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, I can summarize it for you really easily:

Stress is bad. Stress while eating is really, really bad. And if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s catastrophic.

Here are some of the main thoughts I jotted down while listening (only because I’m an obsessive note-taker and started doing it without thinking):

–We all naturally seek pleasure in eating. When we’re stressed (even if we don’t “think” we’re stressed), the body is desensitized to pleasure.

When we can’t get pleasure from our food, we naturally eat more in a subconscious attempt to find it.

–Being in a state of stress and/or having a lack of “awareness” during meals leads to an inability for the body to take in nutrition. So even if you eat the healthiest meal in the world, your body can’t fully benefit from it if you’re also stressed.

–We think our weight loss failures are a lack of willpower, but our physiology will always beat out our psychology. We can’t override the body’s natural tendencies with simple good intentions—aka willpower is not enough, and not the problem.

Stress wipes out healthy gut bacteria. Marc mentioned a study in Russia, where Russian fighter pilots had their gut bacteria measured before and after a stressful mission. The study found that one stressful event can wipe out 90% of healthy gut bacteria.

–For people who are “doing everything right” and still not losing weight, the culprit is almost always stress.

What to do:

Emily talked about doing some deep breathing before meals, to force the body to switch out of stress mode and into relaxed, weight-loss-friendly mode. Just 6-10 long, slow breaths is all it takes. (Isn’t it wild that breathing can do that?)

There were some other really interesting points in the talk too, like Marc and Emily’s take on the fight or flight thing. They claimed that it’s actually fight or flight or FREEZE—which gave me a huge lightbulb moment.

Do you ever have times when you have so much to do that you can’t do anything? You’re totally paralyzed, have no idea where to start, and end up on the couch in front of the TV? That’s the freeze response—or playing dead in nature, which looks like apathy in our daily lives. It usually comes right after a super stressful time.

Anyway, I could go on all day, but you should definitely check out the video, and the entire conference, if you’re interested in this stuff. I seriously eat it up (pun intended).

In other news, I wanted to formally introduce you to my new gym-slash-diaper bag (it happens to be perfect for both equally-stinky purposes):

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LiveWell360 was so kind to send me their Accel bag to review, and I could not be more impressed. The first thing you notice about it is that it’s crazy heavy duty—just look at these seatbelt straps!

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Perfect for rolling around in the car, getting jammed into a tiny locker, and then stuffed into a closet at home. (Or maybe everyone else is kind to their gym gear?)

Then there are the pockets—honestly, so many (13!) that it’s almost overwhelming, and puts my organizational freak tendencies on overdrive. (Must use ALL THE POCKETS.) There’s even a removable divider in the middle (it attaches to the velcro strips you see below) that’s designed to keep your clean clothes separate from your stanky stuff.

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(But I could also see it being great for separating dirty diapers from clean baby clothes and bottles…just saying.)

Before every workout (or outing with kids—same thing), you should always read your gym bag for motivation.

The other thing I love about this bag is its size. It holds quite a bit of stuff while somehow staying extremely compact. NOT that this is a diaper bag, but I’m reminded of the fact that my diaper bag inexplicably bloats to giant duffle bag proportions after I insert one small travel container of wipes.

One final underrated feature: the Accel can sit up. It’s structured. I hate when you’re trying to dig in a bag and it’s just flopping all over the place.

livewell 360

I know it’s a little early to be thinking Christmas (nah, I just said that to fit in—I’d put our tree up tomorrow if my husband would let me), but this bag would be a great gift idea. There’s the versatility factor (I will NOT say diaper bag again…) and it’s a great way to encourage fitness without giving a gift that seems to subtly say “it wouldn’t hurt for you to get a little more active.” (That’s you, home workout DVDs.)

Plus, LiveWell360 is a respected name in the gym bag world, so giving this bag as a gift serves the dual purpose of simultaneously impressing people with your fitness knowledge. (haha!)

P.S. Use this link to get 15% off your purchase!!

Naturally, the bag photo shoot eventually morphed into a fall family shoot…

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Because LEEEAAAVES!!

Any other tricks for managing stress eating?

Do you ever notice yourself having the freeze response in life?

Do you have a favorite gym bag? What do you love about it?

 

Disclaimer: LiveWell360 sent me a complimentary bag in exchange for my honest review. They didn’t tell me what to say, and I received no additional compensation.

Have a great weekend!

xo

Kim

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Giselle October 26, 2014 at 11:28 pm

I was trying so hard to watch the videos but just didn’t have time :-( My favorite gym bag right now is my Fivesse bag! I LOVE it and will be sharing all about it this week. SO jealous of all your fall leaves! We are just now getting some fall weather and changing leaves. Hoping to find time this week to go to a park and find some leaves!
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Kim October 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Ooh just checking out Fivesse online right now–wow, SO cute and fashionable! Can’t wait to see your write-up. :)

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Renee @ Bendiful Blog October 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Cute Bag! I have a bag I love from Apera and I joke I put my kids in it as well. A sturdy structured bag is MUST for moms. I love the impromptu leaves photo shoot. Fall really is the best.
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Kim October 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Agree about the structure! I had no idea how important that would be when I bought my first (non-structured) diaper bag! Yes, fall is so amazing…if only we could stay in this forever!

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Jen@jpabstfitness October 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm

LOVE that bag!!!
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Jade October 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Like above commenter I totally do the ‘I’m so stressed I need to eat that to make me feel better’ add in my sleep deprivation, a two year old tantrum er it makes me over eat like crazy. Although sure I’m nursing right now but still not doing much activity besides bouncing baby, I did a calorie count at the end of the day one day and I was shocked at how much I ate. I tried to eat less the next day but woke up during a night feed with one grumbling stomach. It’s going to be tough to reign in these taste buds to lose the rest if these extra 25 pounds.

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Julie @ Run Away Freckles October 25, 2014 at 6:09 am

Stress eating is a hard thing for me. I get in the mind set ‘I am stressed and upset I deserve to eat that,’ which I know is killing my weight loss. I don’t have a solution for this yet. I try to acknowledge why I am feeling and wanting to eat and going from there.
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Ashley Pitt @ A Lady Goes West October 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm

I love that bag! I got a black LiveWell360 tote which I can’t wait to pull out of the wrapping and put to the test. I know one thing — I LOVE to eat, but I try to slow down and enjoy my meals, which isn’t always easy. Thanks for the tip to breathe before meals … silly as it sounds, I don’t think I do that. Have a great weekend!
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Emma @ be mom strong October 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm

I stress that I stress too much! Great post and reminder. I have a pink Apera gym bag I love!
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Alysia @ Slim Sanity October 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I used to stress eat all the time. I’ve gotten better at it, but it just takes a lot of self control! I’ll try to find a healthy alternative to something I think I’m craving and really think about whether I want to eat it or not.
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