One of the biggest reasons people gain weight is because they are stressed. When you're under duress, you may reach for fatty or sweet foods in large quantities. Binging on junk food, combined with the stress hormones your body is releasing, can lead to weight gain. So why not combine your weight-loss plan and efforts to shed some pounds while trying to de-stress? Here are some ways to do so:

Avoid emotional eating
You cannot always control your feelings. You can, however, address emotional eating. Instead of reaching for unhealthy options that are full of salt, fat and sugar, keep some stress snacks on hand. This can include a handful of nuts, some crunchy carrots or tasty granola. Bring them with you to work, the gym and out with friends. This will keep you from stopping at a convenience store for sweets or digging into a bag of chips when you're under stress due to a strict deadline at the office.
Meditation reduces stress and may aid in your weight loss plan.

Meditation reduces stress and may aid in your weight loss plan.

One of the hottest trends in the business world right now has nothing to do with return on investment or managing human resources. The top CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are talking about it - meditation. While sitting in one place trying to clear your mind doesn't seem like it would help you lose weight, it can assist in de-stressing.

"Meditation can reduce anxiety and help with weight loss."

Having less anxiety in your life is a major positive for your physical health as well as mental wellbeing. If you've never meditated before, try using a guided app or recording. You can find many examples on YouTube or the iTunes app store. Look for shorter sessions, like 5 or 10 minutes for your first few tries. Meditation is a practice, so don't expect to feel miraculously stress-free immediately. 

Use stress as motivation
When you're full of pent-up nervous energy, it can be hard to sit still. Use that tension to fuel a great workout! Running, swimming and boxing are great ways to channel negative emotion into positive physical activity. You'll feel motivated to hit a punching bag if you're angry, or to swim more laps than usual when you're worried about something coming up. Sitting at home stewing in that helpless feeling is not good for your emotions, and can lead you to stress eating. Instead, get up and get moving! 

stress, weight gain, fat loss, food lovers fat loss programCaffeine can up your stress levels, leading to stress eating and weight gain.

Stop drinking caffeine
Have you ever had those sudden heart-palpitations when you've had too much caffeine? This stimulant causes stress to your body as it causes you to release cortisol and other hormones that inform the rest of your body that you're in trouble. You may think you need caffeine to get through the work day or wake up, but you may actually be harming your long-term health with that extra cup of coffee or soda. Try staying away from caffeine for a week or two to see how you feel. You may find that eliminating or decreasing your caffeine intake makes life much less stressful. 

Avoid processed foods
People who decide to stop eating gluten often find that they lose weight. Science has not proven that omitting gluten from your diet will promote weight loss. However, when you can no longer eat most breads, crackers, chips, sauces and salad dressings, you are largely cutting out processed foods. These items also contain chemicals to keep them fresh and shelf-safe for longer. While these food items have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, their long-term effects are not known. Consider cutting out  processed foods, and instead opt for foods with few ingredients or healthy produce. Eating fewer chemicals may help you de-stress as well as lose weight.

The Food Lovers Fat Loss program shows you how to create healthy, tasty fat-loss plates out of your favorite foods, which can help take much of the stress out of the weight loss process. You'll learn to combine slow and fast carbohydrates with protein to provide longer-lasting, healthier energy while losing weight. You can use this knowledge to eat a better breakfast and reduce your "need" for caffeine!