You don't have to get knocked off of your diet and weight loss plan just because you are stressed. Your family from all angles may be placing undue pressure on you; the kids may be fighting or have failed a major exam in school, while your boss and coworkers are pushing you to the breaking point. The daily grind ought not to deter you from achieving your weight loss goals.
Stress can wreak havoc on your weight loss plan because it greatly increases the production of cortisone, which interferes with your body's natural insulin production. Cortisone sends a signal to your brain to increase your appetite for sugar. Thus, high carbohydrate foods trigger the release of insulin, which in turn triggers the brain to release cretonne. Cretonne is the body's natural "feel good" drug for your brain. This is the science behind everyone's favorite comfort foods. When you reach for comfort food, it physically and mentally puts you in a comfort zone, at least in the short-term. Think back to your childhood, your parents or guardians would give you sweets and other less than healthy food to comfort you when you had a bad day in order to cheer you up, and it would work.
With this in mind, you must take control of your urges. The simplest way to keep from gorging on comfort food, a candy bar, ice cream, or other sugary sweet, is to keep it out of the house. If you don't have the food around you, even if you are tempted to break your reduced calorie meal plan, you can't because it isn't available to you. Instead, you should keep your kitchen packed with healthy snacks. You can make your own trail mix (it's cheaper if you buy the ingredients in bulk and mix them yourself), or keep a fresh supply of fruit and vegetables at arm's length. You should be focused on getting good calories in your body and keeping saturated fat and oils out, even if we are talking about your comfort food.
You can also take measures to avoid stress. If you know you're going to have a stressful day or week, make sure you get a good night's rest. Sleep is vital to keep from gaining weight, but it will also help you deal with stress and anxiety. When you don't get enough sleep, the body endures physiological stress, increasing fatigue which can cause weight gain. Stress reduction and weight loss depend on the body resting. Listening to soothing music throughout the day or at sleep time can also reduce stress.
Other measures to reduce stress and aid weight gain are to go on a long walk, going to the gym to exercise, and taking some personal time. Certainly, walking and exercise are important for sustained weight loss, but often overlooked is personal time. Personal time, your own time, can be as little as ten minutes or an hour, but you need to focus on you and your needs if you want to accomplish your goal of long-term weight loss. Sustained weight loss can't be moved to the back burner, weight loss is a lifestyle change, so in the vein, your meal and health choices must be made with weight loss in mind. Commit to the change because it is definitely worth the effort.