Let’s face it: When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to make unhealthy decisions, reaching for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
That’s why health coach and holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque recommends to her clients the virtues of eating three clean and balanced meals a day to help manage stress and achieve a healthier lifestyle.
LeVeque, whose celebrity clients include Jessica Alba and Chelsea Handler, spoke out about the relationship between what we eat and the way we feel in an interview with "Good Morning America," and shared her tips and recipes for what to eat to feel your best.
Research suggests that when we're stressed our cravings for sugar, carbohydrates, and fatty foods increases because when we eat these foods they release dopamine, according to LeVeque.
If someone is chronically stressed, they may have elevated cortisol levels, which would increase their want for dopamine-releasing foods, and can result in the perpetuation of poor eating choices, LeVeque adds.
The 'Fab Four'
LeVeque's approach to eating healthy and feeling your best focuses on regulating the hunger hormones in your body. She dubs her method the "Fab Four," referring to the need to eat the right combination of four key food groups -- protein, fat, fiber and greens -- at every meal.
While medical research on metabolism and nutrition is constantly evolving, LeVeque claims that meals built around her "fab four" method keep your hunger hormones in check all day long.
LeVeque shared a salmon recipe which she says is beneficial for stress levels because it contains key nutrients that bodies need to thrive, including Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium.
She also shared her recipe for freezer "fudge," a guilt-free dessert alternative that is packed with almonds, coconut oil, and chocolate. LeVeque advises that this sweet is a good option to eat when you get a craving because it has no sugar and contains protein, healthy fats, fiber, and zinc.
LeVeque's new book, “Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself From Food Drama Forever,” is packed with recipes that emphasize holistic nutrition and is currently available in bookstores nationwide.
Try more recipes from Leveque's 'Body Love'