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ODDMENTTWEAK Posts: 1,681
2/11/13 12:42 P

I understand the feeling- I often binge eat when I'm stressed out, and now that I'm working in my field (counseling) I'm stressed more than ever! In the long run, though, exercising to manages stress instead of stuffing myself has such an impact on health.

EREBECCA SparkPoints: (4,541)
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2/11/13 11:58 A

I always eat when planning lessons (I'm a teacher) trying to break the cycle now...

KESTRYLL Posts: 3,475
2/11/13 8:58 A

Very good ideas, i like reading after a stressful day.


BETTER_LUCK Posts: 38
2/11/13 5:06 A

Turning to food when stressed/bored/lonely is exactly how it all started for me too, as early as middle school. I zone out in front of the TV and eat mindlessly. It doesn't really solve anything, just distracts from the actual problem and gives me in fact another problem when I gain weight this way.

Now, to deal with stress, I work out. For boredom, I keep busy at home, doing chores as soon as they appear, including planning and preparing meals, and took up knitting (as 'uncool' the teenage part of my mind might think it is, I find I absolutely love it!). For the loneliness, I got a pet (a parakeet as I'm not settled enough for a dog or cat, although that might be a better idea).

I would also recommend against using food to deal with stress, at least not routinely. However, we are all human, and once in a while, I let myself get in front of the TV with a jar of Nutella, but I keep it on the kitchen scale to know exactly how much I'm eating.

CYDNEYLEECH SparkPoints: (13,511)
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2/11/13 1:33 A

I would certainly say not to give in to food at the end of a stressful day. However, it puts you in the position of losing your battle for a healthier life. If you can just try, instead, to go for a quick 5 - 10 minute walk, it will help you feel less stressed. It always works for me!! Good luck!

BRAVELUTE SparkPoints: (86,399)
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2/10/13 10:41 P

Well, you have certainly received the input. Good luck with figuring out what you will do with it. And I plan to put my 2 cents worth into the mix.

1. I think you handled the problem very well. There was a time when I would have bought a half gallon and chocolate syrup and peanut butter and eaten half of it.

2. You are the one who counts here. I think you already decided food wasn't the way to go. You have 3 sides of an issue here: dealing with a stressful situation, dealing with the tension that builds up i you, and planning your nutrition program ( so you don't try to release tension by eating in such a way as to sabotage your eating plan. What are you going to do to deal with stress effectively?

You are NOT going to hide from stress by going to bed early. It will still find you.
You are NOT going to deal with the stressful situation or make it go away by eating. Never works.
There are many life skills that you can learn and try to ease the situation. Humor is a simple one that comes to mind. Humor in the situation and aterward to help YOU destress. Another is physical activity. Sometimes I recommend that someone dealing with a coworker who piles on the stress invite that coworker to walk up and down the stairs or go for a walk and talk it out. If nothing else, the walk will help you release tension. Analyze the cause of the stressful situation and devise a plan to improve your stressors.

For me, the Christmas Holiday is always stressful. Once I finally analyzed it, i realized I created the problem with weird ideas like having to make an heirloom type gift for everybody, and a cookie tray for everyone at work and in the neighborhood. The simple solution was to scale back to what was truly important. Heirloom gifts aren't given every year. They are given at appropriate milestones, like a 50th birthday. or 25th anniversary. NOT every year.

You need to figure out what things work to relieve tension. Might be a massage or more. Might be that cup of tea. Might be going to bed because we don't handle life or weight loss well without enough sleep. Might be a brisk walk or run with your favorite play list in your ear. Might be a half hour at your favorite nature spot. Might be meditation. And trust me, there are as many different ways to destress as there are SP members. MAYBE more.

Good luck. I'm going to go to bed now because i need a good night's sleep to tackle a major case of needed decluttering. If it isn't handled tomorrow, I know I will feel stressed tomorrow night!!


JULIANEASHLEY11 Posts: 91
2/10/13 3:24 P

I turn to ice cream when I'm extremely stressed... something about holding a carton and spoon while watching some sappy chick-flick or cheesy sitcom make me feel so much better!

Might not be the right answer, but it works for me!

SUSANK16 Posts: 493
2/10/13 12:42 P

Depends on the person and the issues. I try to avoid turning to food as I am a stress eater. However, good feelings and bad feelings equate to stress for me. Therefore I could easily turn it into a habit and have. I am working now on reversing that issue. However it is always a problem for me in the fact that if I overeat I have to forgive myself instead of issuing myself a liscense to eat more. So I am working that through - learning how to eat like a normal person and realizing that food will be there tomorrow and the next day and the next day. On stress eating, I tend to tell myself that this is the last time that I am going to do it and tomorrow it will never happen again and that just leads to more overeating and the pattern starts repeating. So I think it depends on the person and the issue and how you perceive the eating.

HCORNETTO SparkPoints: (18,174)
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2/10/13 12:11 P

Even turning to food (in a reasonable portion) to celebrate making it through a stressful day can have a very negative impact on you and your diet. Not because you overate, but because you are making food a "reward."

Psychologically, when you do that, you make the following associations (often subconsciously):
1) Food is a reward.
2) Food can cure/alleviate stress.
3) Lack of food (treats) is a punishment.
4) It is all right to go "off" your regular eating habits when you have a bad day.
5) Food can make your bad days better.

These are not healthy mental associations to make when it comes to food. In order to live a healthy lifestyle, you need to view food as fuel for your body - not as a reward, or a stress relief. Setting yourself up mentally with that false dichotomy is what leads people down the road to becoming emotional eaters. Emotional eating is one of the -hardest- habits to break when it comes to living healthy and losing weight.

SHERYLDS Posts: 12,119
2/10/13 10:38 A

Life is full of stress...that's just the way things are.
Eating isn't going to make things change.

*I would take time out to separate what is important vs the small stuff
*if it's important...think about how to change things (what would your hero do)
*if it's small stuff...See if you can change anything that will help eliminate any of the stress, next time
*if you're still consumed by thinking about it...ask yourself WHY are you letting it eat at you...what are you getting by focusing on THAT instead of getting on with your life.
*and after all is said and done ...what would you rather be doing than re-hashing a bad day in your head....
go do that emoticon emoticon

SCHOPPEK Posts: 1,010
2/9/13 1:39 P

This is something I struggle with every day. I am learning how to NOT turn to food when I am stressed. I will call someone, read a book with a cup of tea, or listen to music.

LEDIRETSE SparkPoints: (49,515)
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2/9/13 12:37 P

i also used to turn to food to relieve my stress. the problem with this is that i overate and on the wrong kinds of food, chips, cookies, ice cream and all sorts of junk. but now i try to go to gym or listen to music instead of eating

RISAMEANSLAUGH Posts: 1,270
2/9/13 12:06 P

I know as a "recovering" binge eater that no, I CANNOT turn to food at the end of a stressful day. That said, I DID eat popcorn last evening -- no, not the "good for you" kind but not the worst either. I am struggling to NOT use food improperly and want to stay afloat, Sparkwise. Does this issue ever effect anyone else?

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
2/9/13 10:19 A

that would only cause me ADDITIONAL STRESS -- so the answer is definitely NO . same as turning to drugs/alcohol - bad decisions.
call a friend - talk it out - read a book - take a bath - there are a million alternatives and you and i know them - let's do them!

HEALTHYJEN11 SparkPoints: (33,931)
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2/9/13 9:52 A

I'm trying to change eating when stressed (esp after a long day)... so I'm starting to drink tea in the evening to curb overeating.

MELMOMOF4 SparkPoints: (7,311)
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2/9/13 9:44 A

it is ok once in awhile to treat ourselves. I wouldn't fret. maybe try to have a fruit or a healthy snack that u really enjoy. hope this helps

EXPOGIRL50 SparkPoints: (7,094)
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2/8/13 10:04 P

NO -- a walk will destress you better.

OHRANGE SparkPoints: (2,501)
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2/8/13 9:25 P

The best advice I ever heard was to make fruit and vegetables your comfort food. emoticon

MROZYLA SparkPoints: (35,715)
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2/8/13 3:20 P

nah i just like to eat. But seriously. you cant hold anything back if your angry or hurt, or what ever you have to talk yell, workout. yada yada

FITNESS_ELLE Posts: 1,116
2/8/13 3:01 P

Thank you so much to everyone that responded!

I love all the suggestions. Especially the idea of getting some fancy decaf coffee! I love coffee, but I had to cut back to one cup in the morning because I was having trouble sleeping. I also think I may treat myself to some diet/caffeine-free soda. I cut soda out of my diet years ago. I keep to as much of a whole-foods diet as possible, but, maybe keeping some around for stressful days might be a good treat. Definitely better than 400 calorie desserts.

Thanks also to everyone who reminded me to celebrate the success of mindfully eating the dessert after a meal, rather than stress-eating or mindlessly eating too much. I stuck to a serving, which I would maybe not have done in the past, so I am pretty happy about that.

To the person who pointed me to the article about "good" food vs. "bad" food labels and how damaging they can be - I completely agree!!! My temptation foods are tortilla chips, chocolate, ice cream, nuts, and cheese. I have had much more success working these into my meals. That way I don't feel deprived, and I have not had one episode of eating an entire bag (or close to it) of tortilla chips, or too much cheese in a long time. Some of those foods have actual nutritional value - like dark chocolate, or nuts. Others like the cheese, tortilla chips, and ice cream have pretty little, but if I incorporate them into a meal, they are not really soooo bad. I have been reading about the glycemic index lately, and the wisdom seems to suggest pairing high glycemic foods (ice cream, tortilla chips) with lower glycemic foods (tuna fish). Also, having sweets after a meal is much better for you than as a snack...

I took a bath today after getting really frustrated with our remote connection. (I'm working from home because of a blizzard in the northeast...) It really did help me relax. I have a problem with trying to do too much. After reading everyone's posts, I am realizing that it is important not to let myself get too stressed out. This has been such a helpful experience. I love SparkPeople :)

ZERO2HERO SparkPoints: (18,101)
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2/8/13 1:35 P

I'm guilty of eating my feelings quite extensively, so even a little of some trigger foods is a HUGE issue for me. Since joining SP I've actually been able to identity that eating for feelings moment; I stopped and thought about it, realizing I would not feel anymore satisfied grabbing more food.

So recently I've found a few things that help me decompress better than evening snacking: blogging here on SP, reading (or something that keeps my hands busy), and - to my surprise - exercise. 30 minutes at the end of day allows me to process my day (I am a high stress worker), tune into something else, step away from all electronics, and an excuse to down a lot of water (consequently also filling me). I hated the idea initially but look forward to exercising now!

SALLYANNE0852 Posts: 850
2/8/13 12:27 P

i got really stressed out this morning and came upstairs and all i wanted to do was dive headfirst into this box of European Chocolate c
cookies that i got for my father law for Christmas that i haven't given to him yet. ( we never see them)


but i didn't first i removed them from my bedroom and put them on my desk...............OMG and now here i am sitting next to them.................. but im resisting by keeping my fingers typing .............................

NO stress eating emoticon is NOT ok.............stress, emoticon its what keeps that cortisol up, and eventually kills your thyroid! like it did to me........... and what drove my wt up to over 200 emoticon


CHILDSCA1 Posts: 28
2/8/13 10:23 A

Oh, yeah, I'm a stress eater too. In fact, last night after work I wanted to just eat...something...anything. I went over my calories by 268...BUT...I ate roasted chicken with whole grain bread and a few pretzels as opposed to my usual bowl of macaroni and cheese. I don't know...I mean, you're gonna have days like that. I like to save about 200-300 calories so at the end of my day I can have a healthy "snack" and not feel deprived. But, like on post said, it's gonna happen but it shouldn't happen every single day. Don't be hard on yourself though. emoticon

STARMONICA SparkPoints: (89,061)
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2/8/13 9:56 A

The most important thing is keep stress away not avoid eating. I keep from food by save nothing around me and drink water and exercise. If I really depressed I have something that I love to eat. keep conscious when you eat, you can control your diet from mindless and overeat.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,327
2/7/13 5:57 P

Well... the way you dealt with it, was a really good improvement over how you might have dealt with things in the past.

ONE planned serving of ice cream is not that big a deal. 400 calories over? Sooo it was a "maintenance day" then. Really, not that bad.

The larger concerns are:
-- It wasn't exactly "planned" - thus put you over your range for the day, unintentionally.
-- It was done in a reactionary way to a "trigger" (stress)

Those unplanned-reactionary moments can so easily go awry! It is a good idea to learn some other coping strategies to replace this response. You've done well so far with "controlling" the response by limiting the degree to which you indulged. So be proud of yourself for that, but start "thinking outside the (ice cream) box" for new non-food-related ideas on how to pamper yourself after a stressful day.

EMMAEKAY SparkPoints: (18,322)
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2/7/13 5:11 P

Not okay, and I think you know that because you ended up going over your calorie range. You even debated whether or not to splurge on that ice cream - you knew what you were going to do would sabotage your day.

I do enjoy herbal teas to de-stress, and I pair that with a hot bubble bath. Sometimes, I just do a stretching routine while listening to some low key music. Sometimes, I write a blog about why I feel stressed or irritated. Sometimes, I do my hair or give myself a facial and put on some super snuggly pjs. I paint my nails, lift weights, ride a quick 10 on my stationary bike. I'm Buddhist, so I meditate about my stressors, as well. What small things - other than food - make you feel happy, or calm and in control?

You have to learn that there are lots of ways to take care of yourself other than food. Comfort eating and stress eating are not ways of bringing your stress levels under control - it's like putting a finger in the dyke... eventually, it's all going to blow. Confront and express your stress, and then take care of yourself.

ALLIBERRI Posts: 87
2/7/13 4:17 P

I like the idea of mindful eating versus mindless eating...that would mean the difference between gorging or bingeing on KFC or having a serving of chocolate ice cream after eating a well balance dinner.
Thanks for the wonderful thoughts and the gold nugget for my journey.

EJWOODWARD SparkPoints: (10,789)
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2/7/13 4:00 P

Here's a quote from an article on SP that I like:

"By categorizing foods into “good” and “bad” groups, you’re only setting yourself up to want what you can’t have. Instead, of giving up certain foods and forcing yourself to eat others, don’t make any food off-limits. With moderation and portion control, you can still eat your favorites without straying from your goals . By allowing yourself these little treats, you’ll still be able to eat what you love, gradually decrease the intensity of your cravings, and avoid binges that could derail your weight loss efforts."

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=1372


BERKANA_T Posts: 138
2/7/13 3:50 P

Setting aside the issue of stress eating, since I think everyone can agree that it can be a huge problem, I just want to say emoticon for making a healthier choice in the coconut ice cream AND for restricting yourself to only one serving, rather than eating the whole carton!! I think those are both great accomplishments.

For me when I'm in a similar situation, the important thing is making the decision to do or not do based on rational thought, not on mindless emotional reaction. If I have a bad day, and I know I'm way under my calorie range for the day, and I really want something sweet, then I have something sweet (making sure to keep portion and calories under control as much as possible). I also refuse to feel guilty about going over my calorie range from time to time. It happens. Sometimes I make less than stellar food choices. As long as it doesn't happen often, then it's not a big deal. Life goes on.

For me, there is a noticeable difference between stress/emotional eating, and eating to destress. Stress/emotional eating means I'm eating mindlessly, without thought or realization of what I'm doing. Often I don't even realize what I've done until the next day. Eating to destress, on the other hand, means savouring something that I feel that I've earned. It's about sitting down and enjoying the food and the experience of eating it. Anyone watching me consume my favourite dessert would understand what I mean...I focus COMPLETELY on the tastes and textures of what I'm eating. It's almost orgasmic...

HAPPYMENOW58 Posts: 2,264
2/7/13 3:27 P

Not ok.....Drink more water....Not always possible,I know...You can't always be perfect...So, don't beat yourself up...But get back on your program the very next meal/day!!! You can o it and you are worth it!!! You deserve to be healthy,happy, and FIT!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon





AMANDILANE SparkPoints: (3,870)
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2/7/13 3:04 P

I agree with a lot of people on here- stress eating is what got a lot of us in trouble to begin with. However, if that's not a problem for you, I don't see an issue with it as long as it doesn't become a trend. I still get the urge to eat unhealthy at night after a long, hard day, even if I'm not hungry after a healthy dinner. I try to drink water and get my mind off of it by doing something fun or relaxing- read a book, go for a walk, play a board game with a friend or family member. Sometimes I'll chew some sugar-free gum in order to give my mouth something to do.

REBIRTHDIVA SparkPoints: (57,536)
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2/7/13 2:42 P

for me stress and emotional eating are the reasons i have been overweight all of my adult life so i would say no to turning to food to relieve the stress. usually after turning to food to relieve the stressed i'm more stressed out because i did; and the vicious cycle continues.

for me exercising, meditating, dancing to some good music, nice long hot bath, journaling have all helped me change my stress/emotional eating patterns. i am now aware that when i want to turn to food to 'fill the hunger' it's not really the food i want.

NICKYCRANE SparkPoints: (67,584)
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2/7/13 2:37 P

I need a late night snack. Kefir(sort of yogurt, 0.5% fat,) and a cocoa peanut butter oatmeal ball, about 85 cals. If I skip it, I don't sleep for ages, which is counterproductive. I fill in my late night snack at the beginning of the day, so I don't get a nasty shock when it's too late. The problem here is hospitality when visiting friends. I visited a couple of families this evening and clocked up an estimated 420 cals: a glass of fruit juice, a small glass of raki, a vast praline (could have put it in my pocket, had my will been stronger, and a small liqueur chocolate. Junk food all of it, but tasty.
Left me with 60 something calories leeway for supper. I settled for a slice of quiche, 165 cals, and shall be under 100 cals over my maximum guideline. I'm OK with that.
I think your 400 cals is OK for a rare occasion. Are you going to continue to be disciplined about the rest of the ice cream? Can you plan it into days when your other eating is very low calorie? I have a high calorie Southwest chicken stew which I ate for breakfast today, being short of instant alternatives. Now I have the low cal quiche, I shall try to keep the stew for supper those days I have calories to spare!
I eat healthily to live, I don't live for the sake of eating healthily. In fact my goal is to be 57 -60 kilos, so I don't have to worry if I put on some weight when on holiday, visiting friends, over Christmas, Easter etc. Since New Year's Eve I've gone down from 62.5 to 60, and didn't put any on during a calorific week with dear friends. Yes, I splurged on a tiramisu that seemed to be more cream than anything else! I chose to!
I don't find yoga, herbal tea, bubble bath etc are satisfactory treats for me. I want chocolate! So I plan my chocolate etc treat for the end of the day, after I've fed the animals, when I'm otherwise ready for bed.
If I don't meet my general 1 kilo a month aim this month, I'm not worried - I'm 6 weeks ahead of my plan anyway! My aim over holidays is to weigh the same at the end of the next month as I did before the holiday. That takes the stress out of it, and it's doable.

KDYLOSE Posts: 758
2/7/13 2:26 P

What they said, plus... never go to the grocery store hungry! I go through that whole "shall I get a treat or not?" thing at the grocery and it rarely turns out well - until my treat started to be a plastic container of cut-up watermelon.

MADAMEJEANNE SparkPoints: (12,655)
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2/7/13 2:20 P

Stress eating is the "why" behind my not being at a healthy weight. I read an article by Pam Peeke's in a Prevention magazine recently. She suggested eating a fiber food with another like veggies and hummus, apples and peanut butter. It is actual food but with high nutritoion value. I also have been reading the Mayo Clinic diet book. It would take eating 11lbs of carrots to equal the calories in a candy bar. So snacking on veggies instead of other stuff or healthier food is better than ice cream, cookies, or other. I am going to be meditating on Bible verses that encourage me and praying about my stress.


JLEEJLS SparkPoints: (899)
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2/7/13 1:22 P

I know all about stress eating, and eating because of boredom. It is so easy to do and a hard habit to break. I have recently tired to find ways to derail the stress boredom eating by taking my mind somewhere else. I don't think turning to food after a stressful day is a good idea, That is how most peopole get into trouble, it is so comforting they just want more. Some light exercise would be a better treat.

RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
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2/7/13 11:54 A

No, if you are like me, you will be more stressed after eating. I am, however, in favor of being good to yourself.

HAILEYLW SparkPoints: (2,240)
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2/7/13 11:48 A

Like most people on here, I agree that stress eating is not the best practice. There are lots of ways that you can relax after a stressful day that don't involve food.

But on the flip side, I don't think that treating yourself should be flooded with guilt. As long as you see it as a treat or a special occasion--and not turn it into a habit--enjoy yourself! One 400 calorie serving of ice cream is not going to suddenly erase all of the work you've already put in.

CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
2/7/13 11:48 A

If you're genuinely hungry and you need nourishment, it's not bad to feel comforted and relaxed after eating. There's nothing wrong with taking pleasure in good food. But mindless, tension-driven eating that isn't really about hunger is what gets us into trouble.

RUTHIE254 Posts: 262
2/7/13 10:56 A

Many of us know how you feel . . . but no, eating doesn't make you feel better. Many tips -- a little exercise, bubble bath, a big glass of water (and then decide what you're "hungry" for).

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,718
2/7/13 9:59 A

I have had to retrain myself. When sad, tired or bored I always turned to food. And then I would go way over my calorie limit.

Although, good job eating only one serving of ice cream and only going 400 calories over.

I think a cup of herbal tea and going to bed early sounds wonderful. Definitely find non food ways to pamper yourself. When you have had one of those days.


BLUEANNIEDOG Posts: 321
2/7/13 9:40 A

Not OK. Sets up the reward system in the brain and soon one scoop of ice cream is not enough! Been there. Done that. Many times.

Find something else to help you de-stress. Maybe try decaf coffee black, or tea. Splurge on a special fancy kind that you really like. Gives the feeling of eating something because of lots of flavor, but no calories.

MOINSDEMOI Posts: 1,199
2/7/13 9:30 A

Turning to food in times of stress is the reason I am on SparkPeople. It's all or nothing for me; if I think I can eat a little, then the habit of using food to relieve what ails me kicks in and I am back where I started. I have started over too many times so now I am taking time to understand why I behave the way I do and change my habits so I react differently when something triggers a need for a response in me. It will take to time to change habits but that is my goal for this year.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,056)
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2/7/13 9:16 A

I have worked very hard in recent months to retrain my stress response. I always turned to food, but food should be for fuel. Yes, you can enjoy it, and there's nothing wrong with a treat to reward or comfort yourself, but it's a slippery slope that can lead to mindless eating and overindulgence.

Why not find a different stress reliever! One of my favorites is yoga. It gets me moving, out of my desk, and thinking about something OTHER than the treats in my cabinet. These days, I rarely reach for food after a bad day, because I don't WANT to turn to food for comfort. I want to enjoy my food for the sake of the food itself, I don't want the negative associations of "bad day = donut."

CALLMECARRIE Posts: 1,598
2/7/13 8:16 A

I would agree with the previous posters for the most part; turning to food for comfort is risky for those of us who struggle with weight gain. If you can cultivate other sources of comfort, that would be good, and I know that's a lot easier said than done. On the other hand, it's natural to relax and enjoy food. People have been doing it for millenia. If you can find ways to enjoy it without exceeding your calorie range, I don't think there's anything wrong with it.

When I've met my calorie range for the day, I distract myself on the computer for awhile, then read, then go to bed. If the last thing I eat for the day is a something sweet, it seems to tell my brain "enough."

Edited by: CALLMECARRIE at: 2/7/2013 (08:18)
PJANTO Posts: 79
2/7/13 8:15 A

Try to think about eating as taking care of yourself when you're stressed. Knowing there is something healthy for you at home in the slow cooker or freezer to heat up can be SO comforting. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to kicking your shoes off and savoring something delicious that is replenishing your body, after a long day. Isn't that what we are invisioning for our kids when we are home to prepare dinner for them.

That being said, if you want a treat at the grocery store, grab a square of dark chocolate or fresh fruit cup. Wouldn't it be great if they sold individual fun size bars at the register?

Drinking a cup of tea and going to bed doesn't sound depressing, it sounds cozy and nurturing.

Edited by: PJANTO at: 2/7/2013 (08:16)
NIRERIN Posts: 11,978
2/7/13 7:35 A

it's one of those things that if it's a really rare thing, it's not an issue, but if it is your go to solution that is going to create problems. because if you train yourself that when you're worn out or tired or stressed that you need to eat, when you hit big problems, you're going to eat. and in that particular respect food has no relationship to emotion, so there isn't every any amount of food that will "fill" that need.
that being said, 400 cals is not a lot and if you are set to lose a pound a week, then you really just ate slightly under your maintenance calories for the day, which you can do every now and again and be fine.
as far as what might help you destress, that depends on you. you could try bubble baths, an at home spa night, yoga, a walk, meditation, reading, watching a favorite movie, playing with a pet, talking to a trusted friend, preplanning [ie figuring out a way to make the things that stress you out lower stress. it might even be that you take half an hour on sundays to look at your week and then use that to space out your stresses. in other words you might have been able to do the first dmv monday, the second on tusday and then just had your meetings wednesday. or that you could find that you spend a hour extra on long meeting days catching up on basics, but if you tried staying later ten minutes in the days before the big meetings you might only have to spend an extra five minutes on long meeting days. it's not always going to be able to help, but it's going to do a lot more good than trying to use food to fix the problem].
remember that goal isn't to be perfect, it's to be a little better than you were the last time. so if this is a big improvement, celebrate it. but also keep in the back of your mind ways to tweak it so that it is a little better the next time.

MISSRUTH Posts: 3,669
2/7/13 7:30 A

I think most of us could probably think of a few things that we like to do, that relax us, but we don't usually take the time to do. After a stressful day, you could make it a point to do one (or more) of those things. A long bubble bath (like the pp suggested). Read a book, work a puzzle, play a game, watch funny videos on youtube, some knitting or another craft. I always feel better when I throw stuff away-- clean out the underwear drawer and make plans to buy some nice new stuff as a reward for not overeating, for example.

But no, turning to food is not the answer. Like the pp said, for most of us, emotional eating helped get us here. We need to find new ways to handle the stress. If you search "emotional eating" here on Spark, you'll get a ton of responses. It's obviously a big problem, and you're definitely NOT alone.



LEKSIPATSY Posts: 380
2/7/13 7:00 A

I would try not to do that...stress eating is what put a lot of us in the position we are in. Can you try some sort of physical activity? That does it for me when I am in a healthy mode of being. Just take a short walk around the neighborhood or do a workout video - it will be very refreshing!

Another idea is taking a long, hot, soak bath. I just got some sleep/relax bath salts from the internet I can't WAIT to try them! A super hot bath usually relaxes every muscle in my body. Then you are getting a 'treat' but its not ice cream.

Good luck!

FITNESS_ELLE Posts: 1,116
2/7/13 6:54 A

Hi, I wasn't sure where to post this, but I've been wondering what people's thoughts are on this. I had a stressful day at work yesterday - long meetings, deadlines, then had to go to two different DMVs - one in CT, one in NY to transfer my car's registration. I stayed precisely in my range all day - 1400. I even brought homemade carefully measured trail mix to eat on the go.

Then I went grocery shopping and after going back and forth about whether to get a treat, go some chocolate coconut ice cream. No, I did not have the entire 4 serving carton - although I would have in the past... I stuck to one serving with some non-fat greek yogurt, but that plus a glass of white wine put me over my range by about 400 calories...

What do you do after a stressful day? I was sort of thinking I should just go to bed early and have herbal tea, but somehow that thought sounded too depressing to actually do....

Tips? Suggestions?

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