It used to be that stress was something that happened only within a special circumstance: a big project due, dealing with holidays, dealing with family issues, but nowadays with the economy being unstable, being stressed out is quickly becoming the norm for most people.  If you are an emotional eater (and really, who isn’t?), then chances are good that you are also a Stress Eater.  I know that stress has sent me running to the kitchen more times than I care to admit, so when I was asked to review The Stress Eater Diet, I eagerly accepted. 


  Here’s a little info about the authors:

Robert Posner, M.D. is a board certified internal medicine physician and has been in private practice in the Northern Virginia area for over 20 years. Dr. Posner developed the Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program, Washington, D.C.’s largest medically supervised weight loss/weight management program as a result of his ground breaking research into the effects of serotonin on weight loss.

Linda Hlivka
With over 20 years of experience, Ms. Hlivka has been the nutritionist for the Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program for almost 6 years. Linda graduated from Douglass College, Rutgers University with a B.S. in Human Nutrition and Foods and from Regis University with an M.B.A. Early in her career, she worked as a dietician/nutritionist at several NJ hospitals. She has a passion for weight control as she had struggled with weight during her life and ultimately has succeeded for many years to control hers.


And here’s an excerpt from an interview with Linda Hlivka about the book:

Where did you get the idea for the book?
I counsel patients all day and I saw a commonality in that most people were stressed and it negatively impacted their eating patterns. It derailed their weight loss or weight management efforts. Stress eating became a distraction that caused people to plateau or actually gain weight. I wanted people to understand how stress can negatively impact health and weight causing obesity, health and can be deadly. 

What are the major themes of the book?
In the book I discuss 1)Stress and what it can do to the body and the mind; 2)Nutrition and educate readers on how to eat healthfully to reduce stress and how to optimize metabolism; 3) Exercise for stress management and burning calories, 4) Calming techniques to help restore the body to balance.  

What kind of research did you have to do for the book?
I spent many hours searching for the newest studies, trials and statistics on stress, weight loss, obesity, vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements, and diseases like diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Why do you think eating is such a typical response to stress?
Many people eat for comfort and to make themselves feel better. It reminds them of a simpler, better time in their lives. It is a natural coping mechanism but can get out of hand if stress is continual. Other coping mechanisms must be found or health will suffer.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I want readers to understand that they need to manage stress not let it manage them. Then I want to empower them to know that they can be in control of their lives whether it is stress, eating, weight, etc. 

Stress Eater Diet Q & A
What is the Stress Eater Diet book about?
The book describes the true effects of stress and its impact on the body, mind and overall health. It explains the dangers of acute and chronic stress, the long-term negative health effects and provides solutions, reasons and tips for positive change whether it is to minimize stress and/or to lose weight. We are a stressed out society. If changes are not made, premature death and a lower quality of life will be imminent.

How many people are stress eaters?
About 50% of the population admits to stress eating in general. But surveys show that 82% have eaten in response to a recent stressful situation.

Why is this program important now or needed?
Right now 80% of Americans are stressed because of the economic downturn and the associated stressors of job security or loss, housing and stock market declines, healthcare concerns, rising prices, etc. Close to 70% report an average of two sleepless nights per week. This program can provide a way for people to cope with stress and improve their health and their lives.

How is the Stress Eater Diet different than other diets?
Most of the popular diets offer the solution to losing weight without working on the cause of the extra calories. The Stress Eater Diet provides a solution for determining stress triggers, dealing with stress, as well as increasing metabolism so more calories are burned efficiently. It will provide a step-by-step approach to reduce and or eliminate stress along with nutritional guidelines that will make weight loss easier, enhance energy, and improve long-term health. The important part of our plan is understanding and realizing permanent behavior modification.

Can people use this even if they don’t want to lose weight?
Yes, many people stress eat but yet do not have what would be considered a weight problem. Yet they deal with stress through food and can get out of control at any time. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, frequent illness, and long-term health issues like diabetes and heart disease.

How do you know if you are a stress eater?
We have a 10 question quiz in our book and an online quiz at where people can answer the questions based upon their current eating behaviors and the
answers will be interpreted.

How does stress impact overeating?
Many people reach for food after a bad day to seek comfort and make themselves feel better. This bingeing is a method of coping that becomes a habit. However, the amount and type of food they eat becomes a concern. When stressed, most people eat high fat or sugary foods that contain many calories. Depending upon their pattern of stress and eating, in reaction to it, nutritional deficiencies, health issues and obesity can result.

What kind of results can you expect?
Everyone is different, of course, and improvement in stress management as well as weight loss will be a process. Our jumpstart plan shows that in 4 weeks, coping and eating habits can be modified. Stress can be reduced and up to 15 pounds can be lost in that time frame. Studies show that these behaviors can be learned and after 90 days of following a certain behavior, it becomes more permanent.

How was the Stress Eater Diet plan developed?
The Stress Eater Diet plan was developed from our medically supervised program as we achieved success with our patients. We were able to extract the methods that were most successful for our patients.

What are some things that can be done to stop Stress Eating?
First, it is imperative to reduce stress to reduce the level of stress hormones circulating in the body. This can be through deep breathing, exercise, mindfulness, meditation or yoga. Once the stressor is gone, then healthy eating is necessary such as choosing foods that reduce anxiety and stress and stabilize blood sugar levels. Chewing gum can also help reduce stress and trick you into thinking you are eating.

Many women love and crave chocolate. Can they still eat it on this plan?
Yes, treats are necessary and a vital part of life or it would get pretty boring. In moderation chocolate is fine. This program will help to reduce overall cravings in several ways. In fact, a recent study showed that taking a 15 min walk can halt cravings.

Is this book and diet just for women?
No, many men stress eat too, but about 50% less than women. Men and women react to stress differently from having different stressors to different coping mechanisms to their uniquely favorite stress foods. Regardless of the differences this book can help men deal with stress and the associated eating.

Should you exercise on this diet?
Exercise is always beneficial regardless of whether or not you want to lose weight. Firstly, exercise will reduce your overall stress and decrease circulating stress hormone levels in the body, which if too high can cause more abdominal or “belly fat” to be deposited. If you do wish to lose weight, exercise will help burn more calories and increase lean muscle mass resulting in a higher metabolism.

Many people are very busy and time is limited. How do they find time to practice this program?
This is not a complicated program. There are some very simple things outlined in the book that can be done easily to reduce stress levels. With regard to weight loss, there are simple guides and meal plans that can be adapted to a busy lifestyle. We also write a daily blog with simple tips and the most up-to-date research on diet and stress.


Not sure if you’re a stress eater?  The book (as well as the website) has a quiz you can take to determine if you fall into this category of emotional eating.  In addition to the book, the website is full of information about the book and the authors, and there is even a blog you can follow.  You can also follow the book on Twitter and Facebook (the reign of Facebook knows no bounds). 

If you want more info, you can visit these bloggers and see what they have to say about the book.  You can also visit the Amazon site, as well as the Stress Eater Diet website and blog, and don’t forget to take the quiz to see if you are indeed a stress eater. 

Now for the really fun part – A GIVEAWAY!  Tell me your favorite way to relieve stress and you will be entered to win my copy of The Stress Eater Diet book.  You have until Tuesday 9pm (CST) to enter and the winner will be drawn randomly and announced Wednesday morning (before noon is the best I can promise!).