Eat more when you’re stressed? You’re not alone. In fact, all that stress eating can pack on an additional 11 pounds each year! Most of us are quick to turn to sugar and refined carbs the second tension gets high. When we feel overwhelmed, we seek out comforting food, giving it the power to make us feel better…and then worse.
A national survey conducted by NPR, Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that most changes to diet occurs during stressful times. And these changes aren’t always for the best.
The foods we choose under stress, like chocolate or simple carbohydrates such as bagels or white pasta, often take you on a hormonal roller coaster: surging and crashing hormone and blood sugar levels which leaves you more susceptible to new stresses than when you started. It’s a vicious cycle that must be stopped! (more…)
Women who are fed up and burnt-out on their jobs are likely to eat more. This probably is not surprising to you, but it has been confirmed by research done in Finland and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. While most of us want to stop stress eating, we are aware that we do it. Whether you know it or not, there are some good reasons why we do it as well.
Job stress is enough to cause stress eating for most people. Burnout is when job stress becomes a chronic condition and can lead to fatigue, loss of interest or concern, and often mistakes. Burn-out applies to men as well as women; however, this specific study was done with a group of 230 employed women between the ages of 30 and 55. Interestingly, 22 percent of the participants demonstrated some degree of burnout.
Millions of Americans are working extremely hard to lose the weight they’ve gained in middle age. Thankfully, there is an enjoyable way to prevent needing to join in this crazy rush to lose those extra pounds.
According to a study published by Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, people of middle age who participate in a regular yoga practice are less likely to put on pounds in mid-life compared with those who do not practice yoga at all. Alan Kristal, co-author of the study could not fully explain how practicing yoga helped people avoid weight gain because, “Except for very strenuous yoga practices, you don’t really burn enough energy to make any difference in terms of weight.”
In contrast to the highly sought after mega-calorie burning, sweat inducing, weight management benefits of vigorous exercise, yoga offers indirect ways to help you avoid weight gain, and the following explains why.
I have a confession to make, one that I really didn’t know until a few weeks ago. I can be an emotional eater. Since I’m not in a priest’s confessional booth, I won’t go into details, but life has been a little crazy over the last few months and I’ve found that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends.
Subconsciously, I’ve been dealing with that stress by snacking more than I should (it doesn’t help that I work from home). While I’ve been writing about diet and fitness for a decade, I’m by no means an angel or have the resolve of a nutritionist or fitness instructor. That means, if I’m not careful, I can find myself having difficulty buttoning my favorite pair of jeans.
What this all means is that maybe I can benefit just as much as you can from the advice I’m about to dispense. Here are some great ways to stave off stress eating: (more…)
Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.
We are still a couple of months away from the holiday season, but now is the best time to start planning to avoid the stress and time constraints that may undermine your year’s worth of hard work! Begin by listing all your holiday stressors, then come up with simple solutions for each. My rule of thumb is “keep it simple.”
Holiday shopping: I no longer shop, I send checks. While many say this is impersonal, I assure you no one has ever returned my gift and the bonus is that it saves me time, money and my sanity! If you must shop then try online shopping, or purchase your gifts and decorations before the holiday rush. (more…)
In a study released in the June issue of the journal American Sociological Review, mothers who have had a baby while unmarried appear to be at higher risk for poor health. The study, which began in 1979, followed close to 4,000 women between the ages of 14 and 22. The young women were queried every year until 1994, and every two years thereafter until 2008.
Those women who had delivered children outside of marriage reported being less healthy as they approached their 40s than the ones who had postponed motherhood until after marriage. In addition, those who began motherhood and then married reported the same health concerns. Those who married before having children reported the highest levels of positive health.
The study allowed for prior existing health conditions.
The rate of birth in the unmarried mother category has jumped from less than 10% in 1960 to close to 40% today.
The reasons for reduced health in this group are unknown, but many surmise that the possibility of a lower income level may have something to do with it. Women who have children when they are both younger and unmarried typically have a lower level of education and this can be a deterrent to higher income.
Even though there may be an evolutionary reason why we are tempted to eat when stressed, it isn’t a habit that benefits us. Stress eating is often the villain/antagonist behind weight gain or that stubborn, final four pounds. For many people, stress eating also allows them to avoid their stressors rather than focusing on finding a solution. Stress eating becomes a stressor in itself, creating an awful cycle, when it is a habit we want to break.
Most coping techniques were, at one point, functional to manage stress, but anything done to excess can be damaging. Grabbing a snack that can be quickly converted to glucose can help you think your way out of a problem, but a toll is taken on your waistline when overused. By the time you have gotten there, stress eating is a habit so stopping is slightly more complicated than admitting you have a problem. Awareness cannot just come after the deed is done, but must come prior to your actions if you want to change behavior.