How to Stop Stress Eating at Work

Too busy to eat healthy? Stress eating is stopping you from losing weight.


As a busy cardiologist, I’m frequently asked how I have time to eat healthy. The truth is I didn’t use to.

Before when I was really busy I would end up stress eating peanut M&Ms from the cafeteria. It seemed faster than actually eating a whole meal. Also, I used to have a bad habit of incorporating chocolate into every meal :). But peanut M&Ms aren’t actually a meal. I would end up eating a regular lunch later in the day too.

Stressed Out at Work?

Is your job really busy and stressful? You’re not alone, based on studies 25%-35% of Americans are stressed out every day at work. If you’re stressed out at work, you’re probably too busy to do meal prep and pack a healthy lunch every day.

You may normally make good choices. But on days you feel like you’re just trying to survive at work you grab whatever is the fastest or easiest or most satisfying. And that could be what’s preventing you from losing weight or making you put on extra weight you don’t want.

This is what I found worked best for me and it could work for you too:
  1. Picking up lunch the night before. You may not have time to make your lunch every day, but you could pick up something healthy the night before. I usually pick up a salad from Panera on my way home from work. They have an app so I order it when I’m leaving work so it’s ready by the time I get there.  This way you don’t have to worry about figuring something out for lunch the next day when you’re home and tired.

2. Preplanning your delivery lunch. If you didn’t have time to pick up something the night before, have a preset order waiting for days like this in your food delivery app. This is so that during high stress or really busy times you don’t have to decide to eat healthy. During these times you’ll usually default to your “I’m too busy to think about eating healthy” stress food favorites. This way you’ll be prepared in advance.

3.Leave the scene of the crime. If you didn’t have time to preplan anything and you’re eating from the cafeteria, mentally decide what healthy lunch you’re going to get from the cafeteria on your way to work. Do this before you get busy. Then when you go to the cafeteria get your food and leave as quickly as possible. The more minutes you’re in the cafeteria, the more time you have to change your mind to eat healthy and get a chocolate chip cookie, candy, or other sugary foods.

Don’t Give Up

This will take a lot of practice to make into a habit, but I know you can do it 🙂 I would look at it as an investment in your health the same way you invest for retirement. You have to put in the effort now if you want to stop stress eating, lose weight, and be healthy.

Get my free guide  Lose 15 Pounds Without Cooking or Calorie Counting and start losing weight this month.

Can I Lose Weight Eating Thai Food?

Healthier Thai food choices, so you can lose weight.

Thai food is fairly healthy, and it’s a great option for eating out especially if you’re vegetarian or have vegetarian friends. Usually where you can run into trouble if you’re trying to lose weight is ordering too much food or ordering food with too much saturated fat.

Here are 3 options of what you can do. I would only pick 1 of these options and keep doing that until it’s a habit and you don’t have to think about it anymore.

  • If you’re eating too much food:
    • Increase the spice level by 1-2 points, stars, etc. This should slow down how fast you eat, make you drink more water, so you get fuller faster and then you will eat less food. It may not be so great coming out the other end 🙁 but should limit how much food you put in your mouth.
  •  If you’re not eating too much food, switch to lower saturated fat foods:
    • Switch from coconut based curries and soups to non-coconut based curries and soups. Coconut is usually healthy, but in restaurant Thai food it can have too much saturated fat which will end up on you as fat.
    • OR you can switch from fried rice, noodles, or dumplings to steamed rice, noodles, or dumplings for the same reason, fried food has more saturated fat which will end up as fat in your body.

If you’re having trouble turning this into a habit pretend I’m at dinner with you checking out all of your food choices, so you feel obligated to make the healthier choice 🙂

Want to learn how to make weight loss easier? Sign up for the If We Were Family email list and get my Guide to Losing 15 Pounds Without Cooking or Calorie Counting and start losing weight this month!

Will Going on Beyonce’s 22-Day Vegan Diet Plan Get You Fit Too?

You may have heard a lot about celebrities like Beyonce and Venus Williams, and professional sports players like Tom Brady being vegan or going on a plant-based diet and wonder if you should try it too. Here are some interesting articles I came across this month that explore these diets further.

First – What’s the Difference Between a Vegan and Plant-Based Diet?

A vegan diet means no animal products including meat, eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived ingredients.

A plant-based diet is basically for people who wanted to be vegan but couldn’t hack it. Just kidding. It’s a term that can be used to describe anything from a vegan to a flexitarian diet.  Its based on excluding or just minimizing meat, eggs, dairy products, and other animal-derived ingredients and replacing it with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

I went on Beyoncé’s 22-day diet — and I lost 15 pounds

This writer lost 15 pounds on the 22-day vegan diet that’s supported by Beyonce, but he went back to eating meat the first night he went to his favorite restaurant.

 What We Learned from The Game Changers

Some of these athletes went vegan; some are just eating more plant-based foods and avoiding meat. Interestingly they didn’t feel like cutting back on meat negatively affected their success as athletes.

 Eating Leafy Greens Each Day Tied to Sharper Memory

If losing weight isn’t enough of a reason for you to start eating more greens, this recent study showed it could help keep your memory sharper too.


Being 100% vegan all the time isn’t feasible for most people, but going to a more plant-based diet is a good option.

Try This
  1. Instead of a side salad order a full salad to eat first when you go out to eat, so you eat a smaller portion of meat afterward.
  2. Or you could start by choosing one meal a week where you stop eating meat and replace it with a vegetable-heavy meal instead.
  3. Why does this work? Because you’ll be cutting back on saturated fat and that will help you lose weight.

How Long Will Your New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Last?

Me getting a workout New Year’s 2016 in Breckenridge, CO!

92% of people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, and get fitter. Most people give up on their resolutions in the first few months of the year.

You can be part of the 8% of people who keep their resolution in 2018. Here’s what I recommend you do to help you lose weight, get healthier, and fitter without fad diets or weight loss pills that don’t work.

1. Pick only one thing to focus on

Don’t resolve to start going to the gym five times a week, start a Paleo diet, and start sleeping eight hours a night. One reason people fail at keeping their resolutions is that they make too many resolutions.

Implementing a lot of changes at the same time will work short term in January, but will be hard to maintain long term, and then you’ll get frustrated and fall back into bad habits. If you want to lose weight pick one thing you’re going to change, for example, how you eat.

I try to have only one main goal for the day, and if I accomplish something related to that, then I start trying to accomplish secondary goals. When I wake up in the morning I think “What’s my #1 goal right now and what am I going to do to move towards it today?”


2. Break your one goal down into smaller pieces

If your goal is to lose weight by eating healthier, break that down into smaller pieces because one big goal can be overwhelming. Try making a smaller goal for every month. Decide what’s a reasonable first step for you.

Eating healthier could be something as small as no dessert after dinner on Monday in January. That’s a small goal that you can reasonably expect to hit. Once you hit that goal, you can make your next goal, no dessert after dinner Monday to Thursday in February, and so on.


3. If you break your resolution don’t give up

You should try to hit your resolution 80% of the time, no one is perfect 100% of the time. Well, maybe Beyonce, but everyone else should aim for 80% of the time. Even people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off have bad days. So don’t beat yourself up when you have one.

Instead when you plan your resolution, plan a Plan B too, in case you have a setback. For example, when I’m trying to get back into a workout schedule my plan A is to workout for 30 minutes, but if that seems too daunting, my plan B is to workout for 5 minutes. Then eventually I’ll work my way up to 30 minutes. Think about where you normally have setbacks when you’re trying to lose weight and have a Plan B for when that happens.

Want to learn more about keeping New Year’s Resolutions to be healthier and lose weight? Listen to my interview on the Mind For Life podcast.


The #1 Reason You’re Not Losing Weight

You Can’t Lose Weight Without Trying, You Have To Make It a Priority


Do you keep promising yourself you’re going to eat healthier next week?

Why is it always next week? Are you too busy driving your kids to school, from school, to practice, from practice? How are you ever going to make time for yourself? The truth is you’re not. Unless you make a decision right now to make yourself a priority. Otherwise, there will always be another project, another birthday party, another commitment to someone that isn’t you. You could live your whole life this way, or you can start making yourself a priority today.


How I make myself a priority

I’m a cardiologist, some weeks I work close to 120 hours, so I know it can be hard to take care of yourself when you’re too busy working or taking care of your kids or your significant other or all the other important people in your life. When I’m working that much, I find it hard to focus on things like eating healthy and working out, they just don’t seem that important. But the negative effects of not taking care of myself are never good. I find whenever I stop eating healthy for more than a week I start putting on weight. These are the things that I’ve found that help me make me a priority that can help you make you a priority too


  1. Decide what your #1 priority for yourself is. Just pick one thing. You can’t simultaneously work on five different things at the same time and realistically make progress on all of them. I’ve tried it; it doesn’t work. What will happen is you’ll end up accomplishing things that were less important to you at the expense of things that were more important to you.
  2. Write down your #1 priority every day. This could be in a journal, a planner, on your calendar or even just a Post-It note. Writing it down every day, preferably at the beginning of the day, will help you remember your #1 priority because it’s easy to forget when other people start demanding your time and energy.
  3. Tell someone you can count on to be your accountability partner. I usually tell my mom or my sister. Then ask your accountability partner to check in with you once a month, like the first of the month or a day that’s easy for you both to remember. This will help you review what happened, what worked and what didn’t and it can help you troubleshoot problems that are stopping you from making yourself a priority.
  4. Plan for obstacles. For example, if you have trouble losing weight because of grabbing fast food when you’re running late or in a hurry try planning out your meals for yourself and your family on Sunday and consider a delivery grocery or meal service so that you always have something ready to go even when you’re late.
  5. Know when to say no. Once you set one specific priority, then you’ll know when to say no. If your #1 priority for yourself is to lose weight and your office mate brings you freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, you know what to say. You know to say no because it moves you away from your #1 priority of losing weight. Bonus points if you can actually say that out loud, so your office mate stops bringing you cookies. Being honest out loud is hard.
  6. Stop feeling guilty. I know it’s hard because you don’t like letting people down but if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be your best to take care of other people
  7. Try something out for a few weeks if it doesn’t work try something else. Like if you’re trying to eat healthy try changing what you eat for breakfast for a few weeks, if that doesn’t work try changing what you eat for lunch instead. If it’s really your #1 priority, then keep trying different things until you find something that works.
  8. Hit pause when you start to feel frustrated. When you feel yourself getting frustrated don’t crash and burn. Instead, take a break and start again next week.


The day to change is today

Why? Because let’s be real every year there are going to be more commitments, more catastrophes, more obligations. You’ll never again have less to do than you do today. That’s real life. So it’s now or never.


What if you do nothing?

Then next year you can be in the exact same place you are today. But you don’t have to be. Losing weight or whatever your #1 priority for yourself is is within your reach and it will always be worth going after.


Start with baby steps

The most important thing I can say from my experience as a cardiologist is to start small. Start with baby steps. It can be easy to get super excited and try to make sweeping changes for one day or even for one month. But for most people that won’t last a lifetime. Start with one small change that you can commit to this week and next week and next year and the year after. Your goal is to commit to your #1 priority to yourself long term.


Why do you think you’re not losing weight? Let me know in the comments below.

Originally published on Thrive Global.


How To Lose Weight After a Vacation

Did going on vacation derail all your efforts to lose weight? Did it kick you out of your healthy eating routine or out of your regular gym schedule?

Here’s how to get back on track:

    1. Pick one thing to focus on first.
      • If you’re trying to lose weight start with eating healthy, it will have more of an impact on losing weight than exercising.
      • Then add exercising back after you’re making progress on eating healthy.
    2.  Set realistic expectations.
      • In the beginning, it’s going to be hard especially if you’ve always had trouble recovering from vacation eating.
      • You can’t go from eating 0% healthy meals while on vacation to eating 100% healthy meals the first week you get back if you’ve never done it before. But over time you’ll be able to bounce back into eating healthy after every vacation more easily.
    3. Break it down into pieces.
      • Identify what you think is the #1 thing that is keeping you from getting back into healthy eating.
      • If you don’t know, try talking about it with a friend or coworker and see if they can help you figure out where you’re getting stuck.
      • For example, let’s say you can’t convince yourself to eat healthy again for any meal because you just don’t feel like it. Try eating healthy for just for one meal just one day a week; then every week add an additional healthy meal, this way it won’t seem overwhelming.
    4. Don’t get frustrated
      • Don’t get frustrated and go on a crazy crash diet that will work this month but will be hard to maintain long term. Short term you want to look hot for your office holiday party or New Year’s Eve, but long term you want to look hot for the rest of your life.
      • J. Lo is 48 years old, and she looks as hot as she did when she was 28 years old, we all want this. This means you have to make changes that you can maintain long term.
Need more help losing weight? Check out my FREE guide –How to Enjoy Eating Out and Still Lose Weight