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Stress = Eating = More Stress = More Eating

I seem to be in a never ending cycle. I get stressed then I stop and get something to eat. Then I realize what I am doing and put the food aside and feel bad for binging which makes me want to eat as I am an emotional eater. So I get stressed then eat then get stressed about binging and eat more.

Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it?


Tue. Sep 25, 8:27am

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Absolutely! We are physiologically wired to do this. I have found meditation really helpful with this cycle. If you don't know much about this there are some great resources out there.

Both Herbert Benson and Jon Kabat Zinn have written a lot about using meditation to work around this whole cycle. Google either of their names and you will get a huge list.

Stress drives a whole host of health problems...like heart disease, infertility, and a laundry list of chronic diseases. There is even a distribution of fat that gets built in the body in response to stress (Pamela Peeke writes about this too...another great resource).

Good luck & hope you feel better soon. I am convinced that working to manage stress in my life has had as big an impact as diet and exercise (which IMPROVED has helped me manage stress). It's all a complex system....not the simple math equation of calories in and calories out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 8:50 AM

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Oh yes! And it doesn't help to be a black or white thinker - 'Well, I blew it, I might as well just go crazy and start again tomorrow..."

Coming up with a circuit breaker has helped me. When I want to turn to food to deal with stress I find something else to do - and, ideally, it's something that makes it hard to bail and go get something to eat. I'll go for a walk, take a bath, go to the gym (even when the idea makes me want to poke my eyeball out), etc. If you can stop that inital response to stress then the guilt binge won't follow.

I read a question recently that stuck with me, too -
'Do you want to continue down this path and put another 5, 10, 20, 30+ pounds?'

I think of that each time I want to go nuts on a bag of chips (and also think of that when I want to BUY that bag of chips!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007, 9:56 AM

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yes, this is a terrible problem for me. i started chewing gum when i'm stressed, and that has helped loads. but then the stress mounted, and i started chewing grape bubble yum so that i can blow bubbles while i was stressed. that was really helpful too!

i also found that i really just want something crunchy to eat when i'm stressed, which normally translates into chips or cookies. so i have steamed sugar snap peas (i stock up when i see them) at work when i know the day will be bad. i have found it to be a very satisfying replacement!

good luck.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 2:38 AM

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I'm bumping this thread because this happened to me today. I got stressed at work and went home and just grazed. I wasn't being mindful at all about what I was eating. The worst part was, I knew as I was doing it that I had to stop, but I still kept going for a while. The stuff I was eating was not that bad for me. It was just cottage cheese and a few light potato chips. Even so, it wasn't in my plan for the day so it was annoying.

I need to figure out a way to stop once I'm already doing it. I tried putting up my before and after photos on the refrigerator, as well as photos of the trainers from The Biggest Loser. It didn't help today. Depressing.

Thursday, January 24, 2008, 3:54 PM

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I really like the idea of taking a bath to break the cycle. A walk is a great idea but sometimes I just don't feel like putting on my shoes and taking a walk, especially if it's bad weather. But a bath feels like a reward for finding something else to do. I love taking baths!

Thursday, January 24, 2008, 4:40 PM

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I have a shower that I can just sit in and let the hot water run. I love it and do that quite often at night to calm down.
It doesn't keep me from eating later though.
I find that I have fruits or veggies so it is low cal stuff and I have planned it into my caloriies for the day but it bothers me that even though I am not hungry, even almost full I keep eating.
Don't know how to overcome that part.

But I guess my suggestion would be to have something planned into your food allotment for the day if you think you are going to do this. But it doesn't help get you out of it. Sorry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008, 5:04 PM

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