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Stress Eating

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I know, stress is bad for you, mentally and physically. I know it can derail a diet (by making you crave lots of "comfort foods" you would normally avoid, or at least eat in moderation; or it can make your metabolism less effective at burning calories you consume).

I have been under a significant amount of stress lately, and I do see that I've eaten more, and more of the "wrong things" than I would have otherwise. But I also see that I've exercised more than I would have, too. Because getting away, physically, from a stress-inducing place, is a relief, mentally; and releasing tension by working up a good sweat is a relief, physically.

But I see another stress-related problem, as well: that old not-being-able-to-sleep-becaus
e-your-mind-won't-shut-down issue. Not enough hours of actual, stress-relieving sleep means I'm tired during the day. Being tired makes me crave sweets for quick energy, and lowers my resistance to saying NO to temptation. My rational self knows this is not a help, but my stressed-out inner me just wants immediate comfort.

So . . . I knew I had to find other ways to deal with stress. Yesterday, I did give in and just take a mid-afternoon nap. It was great! And low-calorie! And I must have been really wiped out, because napping didn't interfere with my sleep last night, either. And I found a friend to talk with about some of the stressful issues of my life, and pray together. That helped a lot, too! I think I may be on to something! So my mission for the next week is to actively look for other ways to relieve stress that DON'T include eating sweets! Ideas, anyone?
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  • NHES220
    Sorry, I am a little late in responding to this, hopefully this will still be helpful:
    According to SparkPeople:
    Here are 7 of our favorite Stress Busters, but feel free to develop your own:

    1. Take a walk
    Want a break from the office? Does your house feel like an insane asylum? Slip out the door and let your feet take you somewhere. Not only will walking give you the opportunity to clear your head and take a break from that hectic situation, but it’s great aerobic exercise, too.

    2. Call a friend
    We all have someone whose voice alone perks us up. Give them a buzz, even for a few minutes. Whether with a joke or a funny story, or just by listening, they will likely put a smile on your face and calm you down. Besides, what are friends for?

    3. Write in a journal
    Expressing our feelings could be the best way to deal with stress. Keeping a journal is a way to capture those feelings at any moment. You don’t have to worry about what others think or say, just let your pen do the work. By the time you’re done, those feelings will be on their way out of your system.

    4. Play a board game
    Remember these? Maybe there are a dozen stashed in your closet, waiting to be dusted off. Monopoly probably should be saved until you have a few hours to spare, but quick kids’ games like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Connect Four, or even Twister are always good for a smile.

    5. Work up a sweat
    Have some pent up frustrations? There’s no better way to get rid of them than by exercising. Pop in a workout tape, hop on your bike or grab your jump rope. You’ll be too busy working up a sweat to worry about what’s stressing you out. Picture the stress leaving your body through your pores.

    6. Plan something fun
    Is there a trip you want to take but never had time to get it together? Or a dinner you’ve always wanted to make? Now’s the time. Not only will you take your mind off things, but you’ll be spending time eagerly anticipating a great getaway or meal later. It’s a win-win situation.

    7. Take a hot bath
    A hot bath will initially give your body a kick, which in turn will give your mind a kick too – and then it’ll slow both down. Add bubbles and a few candles and you have the ultimate soothing atmosphere. A rubber ducky is optional.

    For me it would be taking a walk or listening to music, maybe taking a drive.
    1754 days ago
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