Reducing Stress Through Nutrition

By Melissa Quealy, Virtual Health and Wellness Coach December 18, 2020

To say that life has been a little crazy would be an understatement.  Isn't it funny how things can be rolling along and then *BAM* something throws you for a loop?  Yup, I'm definitely feeling it right now.  We all feel stress for different reasons.  Maybe it's family demands, work, finance, COVID....or all of these things!  We all know that exercise can help reduce the negative effects of stress on our bodies.  But did you know that nutrition can help, too?  Yes!  Healthy eating can help you combat stress and meet the challenges in your life head on.  Properly fueling your body helps reduce stress because it gives you enough energy to get through your day.  If you're not eating regularly or eating the right foods, your body isn't getting the proper fuel, and you'll feel drained and tired. And with the holidays practically here, the stress of the everyday is going to just be magnified.  Here are a few simple ways that nutrition can help you reduce stress.

1. Prepare for the Unexpected.  If you're like the "old" me, unexpected work or family commitments could easily ruin an otherwise good nutrition day.  Prepping workweek meals, batch cooking, or planning for leftover nights can help take the pressure off of those unexpected obligations.  Plus, if you get a little extra hungry during the day, you can go straight for the healthy meals, rather than spending the extra calories (and cash) on convenience foods.

2.  Eat before you're hangry!  Letting yourself get too hungry can lead to overeating.  Whenever possible, take a break when you're feeling hungry and ready to eat rather than when you're "starving."  Trying to work through the hunger can also make you feel more on edge and less focused.

3.  Turn meal prep into R&R.  Cooking can be therapeutic, especially once you get into a routine.  Put on some music or set up your phone with your favorite binge-worthy Netflix show in the kitchen and start cutting up fruits and veggies for the week.  You'll feel more organized and prepared for the week, which can help reduce your stress levels.

4.  Create grab and go options.  Feeling rushed in the mornings or between meetings?  Prepare your lunch and snacks the night before.  Even if you're working from home, knowing that there are those grab and go options will help you feel more focused, save you time, and keep you from running to the pantry for those unhealthy snacks when you're short on time.

The actions you take to reduce your everyday stress are going to come back to you tenfold!  So make your plan then work you plan.  

And if you ever need extra tips - I'm here to help!

Hi!  I'm Melissa Quealy and in addition to being a full-time working mom and wife, I'm also a virtual health and wellness coach.  I have struggled with weight my entire life. Being the 'chunky kid' growing up (especially with 2 slim, beautiful sisters) was hard, and I developed some really terrible eating habits (can you say closet eater?).  But over the last 18 months, I have improved my fitness level and my relationship with food -- losing over 30 lbs -- with Beachbody fitness and nutrition programs.

My goal as your personal virtual wellness coach is to help you work toward your own health and fitness goals by giving you strategies and support to overcome your biggest health and fitness challenges - and help you celebrate the successes! I have lots of free resources, including workouts, recipes, and meal planning tools.  I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, or email - and there's never any pressure to buy anything!  I love talking about fitness and nutrition, so if you have any questions or are just curious, please reach out – I’m here to help however I can!