"Stress-eating" on the rise since the pandemic. Here are 5 ways to stop.

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Gina Buber, certified fitness trainer, shares secrets to combat stress-eating

A new study surveyed 8,000 people about their habits during the pandemic and found that most have seen major changes in their health habits. Nearly 30% of those surveyed reporting significant weight gain. “Stress-eating” is on the rise globally during the pandemic, and one fitness trainer is using her own experiences to share top tips for combating the habit.

Gina Buber (Gina B.) is an Australian-based ex-ballroom dancer turned certified fitness trainer. After leaving the world of competitive dance, she developed an unhealthy relationship with food and gained nearly 50 pounds. But after changing her habits and mindset, she found ways to get more control of her behaviors, and now, as the founder of Up to the Beat, she helps others looking for support on their health journeys.

"When it comes to finding ways to stop stress-eating, remember that focusing on food is the band aid; instead, focus on the root of the issue: what’s inducing the stress?" Gina encourages a holistic approach that includes both monitoring behaviors as well as minimizing stressful situations. "It's about sustainability. What are you stressing about and how can you cope? This can include breathing techniques, meditation, and outdoor walks to increase stress."

Here are Gina's top tips for avoiding stress-eating (especially during the holidays):

1. Set your intentions.

“If you’re not clear about what you want to achieve, it will be hard to stay committed. Do you want to lose weight or maintain your current weight during this time? Do you want to be able to keep up with your children without feeling winded? Do you want more energy? Confidence? These are all valid goals, but be realistic about what it is you’re looking for, so you can set yourself up for success. Once you’ve decided, put it somewhere as a visual reminder of your ‘why’ every single day.”

2. Get familiar with your environment.

“Remember that you always have a choice, and it’s easier to make better choices when you’re aware of the habits and settings that might throw you off-track. When eating dessert, is it difficult for you to stop at one slice of cake? Do you tend to eat when engaged in mindless activities like watching television or doing repetitive work tasks like data entry? Do you consume more alcohol when you’re with friends? If you can pinpoint the times you’re more susceptible to the eating habits that don’t align with your goals, you can maintain control.”

3. Be a food snob.

“This is a great strategy that you can implement especially during the holiday season because it’s all about studying the food in front of you and making your choices really count. For example, if Aunt Mary has made her famous pecan pie that you only get to eat at this time of year, then enjoy it to the max. But if this is a supermarket bought mud-cake that you could eat at any time of the year, maybe make the decision to opt-out of that one. Make better choices by setting boundaries that are more in line with your goals."

4. Don’t forget the 80/20 rule.

“Give yourself grace, especially during the holidays. Eighty percent of your time should be spent remaining aware of and intentional about moving daily (find fun ways to involve the family), hitting your water and protein goals, and getting enough rest. Focus 100% of your efforts on the 80% portion where you will make the biggest impact.”

5. You can’t fail if you don’t quit.

“The only time you fail is when you stop trying. If you feel like you’ve gone off the rails, you are only one step from getting right back on track again. If you ate more dessert than what you had hoped, make your next meal full of wholesome ingredients-- don’t just throw in the towel. You're only one meal, one workout, one step away from getting back on track. Try not to catastrophize things. One meal doesn’t define your journey. Try to give yourself a bit of grace.”

Gina says that with a little bit of intention and mindfulness, it’s possible to change unhealthy eating habits that may have arisen during the pandemic. If you’re looking for more ways to stay active and learn more fitness tips, follow Gina’s YouTube channel.

ABOUT UP TO THE BEAT: Founded by Gina Buber, Up to the Beat is a community for women across the world who are looking for support on their health journey. Members enjoy free workouts, nutrition resources, coaching, and an exclusive community. For more information or to sign-up for the next fitness challenge, visit http://www.uptothebeat.com.

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Danielle Bayard Jackson
TELL Public Relations
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