The Importance of Slowing Down and Preventing Stress

Especially if you are trying to lose weight.

In today’s society, life moves very fast. People seem to think that they should always be doing more, staying busy, and constantly running around. But while it is important to keep your goals in mind and work hard to achieve them, you also need downtime to regroup. Signs of stress can sneak up on you. Here are some reasons why you might need to slow down.

You Can Avoid Burnout

Most people face burnout at some point, but it is actually completely preventable. You tend to have burnout when you are overwhelmed, work too much, and just try to handle everything without giving yourself enough breaks. Burnout causes stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed. You might find that you can’t focus on work, your productivity goes down, or you lose interest in things you used to enjoy working on. These are all common signs of burnout.

You Gain More Clarity

Slowing down and giving yourself more time off can also help you to gain some clarity. Have you been struggling with making decisions lately? Do you feel like you are working your fingers to the bone, but not finding success? This can often be from a lack of clarity. You need to slow down and sometimes even stop what you’re doing, take a step back, and evaluate what you have been working on and how you spend your time. You just might find the piece that is missing. 

It Helps You Focus on Your Priorities

With just a little more time in between projects and daily responsibilities, you are able to focus on what is most important to you in life. Maybe that means more self-care time, spending time with loved ones, or in some cases, figuring out where your work priorities are. Slowing down is essential to figuring out what your progress is and deciding if the path you are currently on is the right one.

You Can Pay Attention to Stress in Your Life

There may be some hidden sources of stress in your life, that you don’t realize is affecting your mental and physical health. We often move so quickly from one thing to the next, that we don’t stop long enough to check in on ourselves. If you don’t remember the last time you just stopped to pay attention to your own mind and thoughts and how your body feels, it is possible you are missing out on some important sources of stress that need to be addressed.

How Does Stress Affect Weight Loss

When you are high-stress, your body produces more cortisol, which is a stress hormone that promotes more body fat, especially around the middle. This produces more visceral fat which surrounds your organs and increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. This also releases more fatty acids in your blood, raising your cholesterol and insulin levels. This is not something you want to mess with. 

You may already be struggling with a lot of stress so don’t fear, as there is hope to make this change in your life. What is most important right now is recognizing where the stress is in your life and finding ways to resolve it. 

Grab this checklist to see if you are under too much stress.

Other Ways Stress Affects Your Life

Stress usually will cause people to eat more as it is a symptom of emotional eating. We crave sweet treats, or high-fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension. This comfort eating can be very soothing and feels like it alleviates our stress in the short term but it actually is making your life worse. After your bout of stress eating, you find yourself feeling more frustrated as the scale goes up and you feel more lethargic from the sugar crash!  

Stress can also cause people to sleep less. Ghrelin, the primary hunger hormone, will rise without sleep and tell your body to eat when you aren’t even hungry. If you are practicing Intuitive Eating, this can upset the balance and send you the wrong signals. Alcohol also releases Ghrelin as you experience the numbing” effect when drinking. The bottom, line is that sleep is important to send the right messages to your body so you don’t make decisions that you regret later. 


Do your emotions control you?  Do you notice you end up in the kitchen when you are sad, lonely, or bored? 

Are you an emotional eater?

Yes, we all do it at some point in our lives.  Some of us just have more willpower than others to bring awareness to the problem and take the necessary action steps to conquer it.

Some of us give in to the temptations to “cover up” what we are currently feeling emotionally.

Question for you, do you stress eat?

This means when you feel overwhelmed by something, food will help create a relaxed environment for you. Our brains want to protect us and this is how it will bring us comfort.

Is opening the refrigerator door and looking for something to munch on a common occurrence after work?

This could mean you are lonely or just experiencing some boredom. If you are finding yourself hungry right after dinner, this could also be an example of stress eating.

A good tool to use in these situations is to ask yourself “Why am I hungry?”

Overcoming An Emotion Within The Moment

HALT is a commonly used acronym that is used to help create an action plan in the moment.

  • Am I HUNGRY?
  • Am I ANGRY?
  • Am I LONELY?
  • Am I TIRED?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have discovered you are an emotional eater and now you can change the behavior.

Age Does Matter

Are you over 35 years old? Unfortunately, when we get to this age, the same diet and exercise plan no longer works. If you find you struggle with this, you are DEFINITELY NOT alone in this frustration.

Many of us learn to medicate ourselves with food when very young. Our parents may have made our favorite food to help soothe us when we were sick. Perhaps we were offered ice cream after school if we had a bad day. If we did a GOOD thing, we would get a treat. Even the school systems reward good behavior with a piece of candy. Does this sound familiar?

I could go on and on…..and on…..

Harmless? Yes to some extent, as our hearts are in the right place with our children, but what are we teaching them?

What did we learn from our parents medicating all our emotions with food? We learned how to lose control and get fat. Right?

How about we get real here? My mom and dad used to tell me to eat everything on my plate because the starving children in Africa didn’t have it as well as we did. My parents weren’t trying to hurt me. They were trying to teach me not to waste and be grateful for what I had. However, I still struggle to this day to leave anything on my plate. It doesn’t matter how full I am. I was trained to not waste food. Do you know what I do now? I have learned to put less food on my plate 🙂  (not always perfect here!)

So What Do We Do Now?


We MUST change this mindset.

We MUST learn to deal with our emotions and not soothe our feelings with a cheeseburger.

When you are standing in front of the refrigerator, not hungry, but searching for something to eat, STOP and ask yourself, WHAT AM I FEELING RIGHT NOW?

Are you bored?

Do you live alone and are lonely?

After putting a name on the emotion, change the result! WALK AWAY! Go for a walk outside. Go to bed. Drink some water. Pray! Just do something else to take your mind off what you are feeling.

YOU are in control of your emotions! YOU!

Redefine Your Purpose With Food

Why do you eat?

Why do we need to eat?

We eat for 2 simple reasons, one is to fuel our bodies and the other is to appreciate flavors.

Are these the only reasons you eat? I have so many clients that struggle with the “taste” of food that I often think how much easier it would be if we couldn’t taste. Do you agree? Absolutely! But I think God intended us to enjoy food because he made us with taste buds. However, God also tells us we need to have self-control. If we are self-medicating on a piece of chocolate when we are stressed or sad, what has control? Definitely not you. The chocolate has control over you.

How about a glass of wine when we get home or a can of beer? It is time to redefine the purpose of food and take control back of our lives!

Eat More Frequently

Next, do not wait too long between meals to eat. Ever heard of low blood sugar? Well, this little word can add up to huge problems. If you skip meals or eat too many sweets or starches, your blood sugar drops and the result is irritation, lack of energy, and ravenous hunger!

So we eat….. but we eat WAY more than we should. Some of us may consume everything in sight! Is this you? One of the problems with binging is that we commonly do not reach for healthy foods like chicken and broccoli, but chips and sugary foods. Subconsciously we are trying to bring our blood sugars back up, however, in turn, we are just raising our risk of causing more health concerns.

So the goal should always be to eat regularly and NEVER let your body feel so ravenous.

When you eat in regular cycles, you are in control. You will feel energized, sustained, and strong. The temptations that creep up are easier to fight off.


What is the difference between head versus heart hunger?

Let’s try to distinguish the emotional connection to food between head hunger and heart hunger. Head hunger generally pops up quickly and you have an intense desire to get something specific. It will consist of something chewy or crunchy. Your emotions, when this desire comes on, start from the need to chew on someone else! Are you upset about something? Are you feeling stressed in that moment?

Head Hunger

Head hunger is usually prompted by pressure-type emotions such as frustration, anger, or resentment. This hunger is generally remedied after the craving is sustained by the desired food, as the emotions can settle down and you can move on with your day.

  • Do you find yourself eating the same foods every day?
  • Do you have to get into the snack machine every afternoon?
  • Do you stop by the donut shop on your way home from work?
  • Do you open a bag of chips when you get home and eat the entire bag?

What are you feeling? Take stock of what is going on in your life.

Are you having problems with your boss? Is your spouse frustrating you? Ask yourself if eating that bag of M&Ms will solve your problem. Don’t deal with the problem with food. Acknowledge the problem and deal with it. Go see a counselor. Talk to your boss about what is going on. Turn your phone off and don’t let the person on the other end say things you dwell on. Take a deep breath….. or two. Pray.

Heart Hunger

Heart hunger has a different connection. It is connected to our heart. This goes a bit deeper.

Do you ever catch yourself walking around the house thinking, “I want something to eat, but I don’t know what?” Heart hunger isn’t usually about something specific you are craving. You just know you want something! When the decision comes, it will be something creamy, soft, or smooth. This could be ice cream, pasta, or another creamy “comfort food.” You might choose foods that you ate during “happier times.” Heart hunger is found in hollow or empty sensations. This could be when you feel sad, lonely, or bored. It could also manifest when you feel you are invisible or when you should have been acknowledged about something and wasn’t. Heart hunger fills those empty holes and soothes our emotions and makes us feel like “everything is going to be okay.

Do you crave sweets or sugars? These could come from times as a child when you had birthday cake or ice cream when you were nurtured, supported, and loved. Food is used more as a drug in this category. If we eat, we will numb our pain. It helps us avoid our sadness or acknowledge that we have any pain at all.

This is dangerous territory if you have weight problems. This pain comes in day after day and you keep overeating to avoid dealing with what is really going on in your life.

When this happens, ask yourself, what is missing in my life? What is empty? Will eating fix this? Then make a list of activities you can do to change this behavior.

For instance, if you are bored or lonely, join a club, find a new hobby, or get involved in something that will take some of your time. If you need a hug, volunteer with kids or a nursing home where you can never give too much love out and you will receive a ton in return.

Life is Hard, Food is Easy

By linda spangle

The bottom line, you must replace the emotional connection to food with something else that brings you pleasure. Life is hard, so food becomes easy. However, food is hurting your body, your self-esteem, your health, and sometimes your relationships.

Take control back of your life. You can do this and shift into a life of freedom over food.

Defiance Dieting Method is where we dive deeper into triggers and behaviors. Check it out if you want some guidance.

Amanda Roy



Which Diet Program Is the Best To Follow

Should you try Keto, low carb, high fat, Paleo, or Intermittent Fasting? 

The number of fitness gurus out there can be overwhelming at times and they are all telling you to try this and do that but what do you do?

What is going to help you the most?  Honestly, I believe in none of them, and here is why

It is not that they don’t work, they do!  It is that they aren’t sustainable.

I imagine you have tried them all and have gone up and down with your weight for years.

You are tired of the scale climbing up or tired of losing weight only to find that you gain it all back and then some.

If this is you, stop the crazy train, and change your focus.

It is not the “type” of diet you need.

What is important is finding something that will work. Now, if you are looking for a quick fix, then any of these diets could be your solution, but if you are looking for a sustainable and doable program, well, keep reading.

First, ask yourself, what do I want? 

Do I want to stop struggling with weight loss or diets again? 

If the answer is yes, then focus on changing your mindset about health.

When I lost 100 lbs, I was focusing on the vanity side of weight loss. I felt horrible about myself and was tired of looking at myself in the mirror. When I started my weight loss journey, I didn’t care how it made me feel, I cared how it made me look.

Well, that didn’t work out so great for me.

When I changed my mindset to getting healthy and healing my body, I was amazed at how fast the weight began to fall off.

My back and knees stopped hurting and I felt more flexible and mobile, and my energy levels soared.

Health and vitality were my focus and my body listened.

This is what I suggest you do too.

You can try all the weight loss diets and products in the world but your body will follow where your head leads it.

Lead it to health.

Don’t do a fad diet. Make a lifestyle change.

Small mindful choices will get you to your goal and they will be sustainable.

Next, how quickly do you need to get the weight off?

I know that seems like a loaded question. We are in a NOW generation everything MUST happen today. Of course, you want to be the best version of yourself today but how reasonable is this for you really?

If you are one of the people who gain and lose, gain and lose, and gain and lose, how about you try something different?

The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Are you ready to start seeing different results?

Then stop what you are doing and try something new. I have kept my 100 lbs off for years due to lifestyle changes.

One change I made was using greek yogurt instead of sour cream and stevia instead of sugar. Easy peasy! 

Start looking for ways in your life you can move more and start making food swaps. Avoid sodas and sugars and go outside in the evening after dinner and walk for 15-30 minutes.

Small changes lead to big results. 

The way you sustain long-term change is to change small things in your life. Over time you won’t even notice them but you will be healthier, feel better and look better.

The bottom line, going on another diet won’t change your life. It will just keep you on the rollercoaster ride and you will never truly find freedom over food.

If you need help with this, I coach you to this freedom in my 180 Day Defiance Dieting Method program. If you are interested, schedule a call with me. I would love to help!

Amanda Roy


Do you try making good choices when you are at a fast food restaurant? 

Such as a Wendy’s salad instead of the Baconator.

Do you buy a zero-calorie energy drink instead of the one with 66 carbs and a matching sugar count? Do you cook barbecued chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy at home instead of Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Does this sound like you? 

I am sure you are consistently trying to make the best choices when you are caught in a situation but why do you still continue to gain weight week after week?

Well, replacing foods with a healthier option is ALWAYS a good idea but unfortunately, the food industry wants us to “think” certain things are healthy so they label them that way. 

However, when you truly start reading the ingredients, you will find that your “better” choices are still high in calories, carbohydrates, and saturated fat.


>>>Start reading labels.  Yes, this will take extra work but I promise you will start being horrified when you look at what they put in your foods, such as Heinz ketchup.

This is your ingredient list:


Hello?  High fructose corn syrup AND plain corn syrup?  Ever wondered why it was so sweet?  HFCS has been shown to increase aging, raise blood pressure, increase insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and obesity to name a few.

This is just one example. You are basically looking for clean ingredients that have names you can pronounce and are real foods. If they are not, don’t buy it!  When I first start working with someone, I always suggest going through their refrigerator, especially their fridge door, and seeing what they have that fits within the “healthy” category and what doesn’t.

I have a video I created for my clients inside of the Defiance Dieting Method.  Check out the video at the end of this post for label reading basics.

>>>Another suggestion I have is to weigh and measure all your food and track your calories in My Fitness Pal or Carb Manager phone app for 3 days to see where you truly are. It is easy to guesstimate what we are eating in calories or portion sizes, but you will blow your mind when you realize what is actually going into your body. This is a great tip to get started.

>>>I would also suggest googling an online calculator to track how many calories you should be eating. Don’t worry about macros (how much protein, fat, or carbs) at this point. Let’s just focus on seeing where you are and then you can start cutting down your portion sizes or not including some of the foods you typically eat that are higher in calories. I know this seems tedious but remember you can do ANYTHING for 3 days and this will greatly benefit you.


Amanda Roy


Life is hard…

or it can be if you believe it is. 

However, did you know that your beliefs become your reality?
If you believe you can never overcome your problems or roadblocks then you will stay stuck.


We are the philosophers of our own life. We have a philosophy about money, happiness, relationships, success, healing, and love. We believe in these things in the deepest part of our souls and we are not willing to change them.

Most often people will try to change their opinions about something and stick their feet in the mud and won’t budge. We don’t want to see another side or view; we just want to think what we want.


So what about what you believe about yourself?  


What you believe about yourself is how your life will unfold. Your self-belief governs what you think you deserve and what you don’t.

Our thoughts about ourselves are more powerful than we realize. When you wake up in the morning with fear, it shapes your entire day. For example, knowing you have a review coming up can cause anxiety for days. You start each day wondering what your boss really thinks of you, reliving the good you have done for the company and the mistakes you have made. You ask yourself if you are worth a raise and likely tell yourself the reasons why you aren’t.

When you wake up thinking you aren’t good enough, guess what? Your brain responds that way all day. You see, our brain wants to protect you by any means necessary.

It will always choose the easiest way out.


When you allow this, you get stuck. 


This is why it is important to step outside your comfort zone into a world of unknowns and new beginnings, even if you are intimidated.

So what happens when you believe in your deepest self that you don’t deserve to be happy or lose weight?

Every belief is a self-fulfilling prophecy in life. How do we open up to new beliefs that are more joyous and liberating?

It only takes one loving thought to transform an entire belief system of fear. If you still think you aren’t deserving, it’s ok. Sometimes we need to make things a habit before they become a belief.

Start by taking a thought that is negative about yourself and flip it around where it is positive. Tell yourself this new thought every day until it becomes a belief. Give it time. Just start shifting those thoughts.


Shift happens when you change your beliefs!


Visualization Technique

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and picture a beautiful healing light shining into your mind and heart so no dark corners are left.

Imagine the screen clear of the old self so you can make room for a new self full of a belief system that inspires the change to create any new life you dream!

If you think you might be ready to make this shift, check out my Level 10 Health Hub where we walk through nutritional goals, fitness, and making this mind shift.

Amanda Roy


Is Gut Health and Depression Linked?

Depression is a very common ailment in this country and I think it is important to stop and look at all the potential reasons why. 


After doing some research after a recent move to a higher elevation state, I discovered some interesting facts regarding our serotonin production in areas of low pressure.

Due to this, our serotonin production is reduced and we tend to feel more “down.” In Utah, there are startling statistics that show Utah has a very high rate of deaths due to suicide.

It is important that we investigate what we can change so that we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our friends.

Watch the video for more of an explanation.

Here is also a link to an article. Click Here

Amanda Roy


Journaling is a wonderful practice that can help you find clarity, reach your goals, and find your next direction in life. ​

But if you feel bored with it, don’t know what to write about, or find that you aren’t being completely open and honest, you may be doing it wrong.

While there are no rules with journaling, you could be unintentionally taking away from the many benefits it provides you.


1. You Aren’t Enjoying the Process

Do you find journaling to be extremely tedious, boring, or just not beneficial to you at all? If so, this might come down to how you are journaling and what mindset you are in.

Take a few minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness before you pick up your pen and start to write. Consider how you are feeling at this moment, what you are struggling with, what part of your life you are enjoying, and what your plans are. Get into a mindset of gratefulness, positivity, and kindness before you start writing.

2. You Keep Using it Like a Diary

While many people do actually benefit from using their journals just to write about their day, this isn’t the best option for everyone. Look at how you are journaling and determine whether or not you are actually digging deep or just using it like a diary, where you list what you did today, and didn’t actually get to your thoughts or emotions.

Using a journal should help you work through difficult thoughts or behaviors and be used as a tool for self-reflection that will lead to change.

3. You Never Have Anything to Say

If you feel like every time you open up your journal, you have nothing to say, there are a few quick ways to remedy this. The first way to fix this problem is to use journaling prompts. These are questions or statements that give you a topic to write about in your journal. These often lead to other ideas in your head about what you want to say in your journal.


  • What triggered a powerful emotion today?
  • Did I behave in a way that I didn’t feel good about? How could I have handled that differently? Did I get triggered by a similar situation from my past?
  • Did I say something today that was hurtful toward another person?  If I did, what was I feeling at that moment? What was coming up for me?

Another option when you feel you don’t have anything to say is to make a list each day. It can change by the day, such as today writing down 3 of your best moments, then tomorrow writing 5 goals you have for the next week.

4. Your Stress Has Increased Since Journaling

Journaling should be helping your stress, not making it worse! If you find it to be super stressful or the act of journaling is actually making things worse for you, it’s time to try and figure out why that is.

Consider what you have been writing about, and whether or not you are being kind to yourself. If every journal entry is a rant or negative, and you beat yourself up a lot, that is probably the cause. Try to write at least one positive thing about yourself and express gratitude in your journal.

5. You Find Yourself Holding Back a Lot

You might want to keep the journal to yourself because you fear who might find it one day. However, this is holding you back and stops you from being open and honest with yourself, and can really halt your progress. You need to be able to be candid if you want to find any sort of clarity.

Journaling is a process and one that can do amazing things, but not if you find that you are filtering out certain parts of your life because of fear.

If this feels true for you, try to journal differently. Use these tips above and see if helps make a difference.

I would love to know how you are doing, leave me a comment or send me an email!


Amanda Roy


Do You Feel Like You Cant Handle Your Stress Anymore?

It is easy to know when you are dealing with extreme stress, such as a serious illness or job loss. But there are so many other sources of stress that you might not realize are affecting your body and mental health. Here are some subtle signs that you are dealing with stress in your daily life.


Lady feeling stessed

You Are Constantly Tired and Fatigued


Do you feel like you are always tired, no matter how much sleep you get or the caffeine you consume? If fatigue becomes a problem, it might be from your emotional stress. When you have a lot of stress in your life, even very small sources of stress, it can cause your cortisol levels to be out of balance. This, in turn, affects your ability to get a good night’s sleep and also reduces your energy levels during the day. So, if you struggle with insomnia and fatigue or just being tired no matter how much you sleep, it could be a sign of stress.


Your Mood is Unpredictable


Another sign of stress that people often think is from other sources is when you are moody, agitated, or irritable. Your brain is handling a lot when you have multiple reasons to be stressed out every day, and you probably focus on your stressors more than anything else. This causes overwhelming panic, anxiety, and many more emotions that can lead to moodiness and agitation.


Your Anxiety is Getting Worse


You may also notice that when you have more to stress about, your anxiety is also worse. There is a big connection between stress and mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. People with chronic stress find their anxiety worse, and those with anxiety find that stress affects them more severely. It is a difficult cycle to be caught up in. If you have an anxiety disorder, it is even more important to recognize the signs of stress and try to keep it under control as best you can.


You Feel Confused and Lack Focus


Lastly, you might have brain fog from the stress, which can confuse, lack of focus, and poor concentration. If you notice that you are getting behind in work, you can’t focus on a task for very long, or your concentration is suffering, it may be from your stress.

If you say, “that is me” to 2 of these, you are experiencing a lot of stress. Stress leads to a lack of sleep, weight gain, relationship issues, and hormone imbalances.

If you are overwhelmed by these feelings and are unsure how to change the habits causing the issues, contact me, and we will discuss your next steps.

Amanda Roy