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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, January 22, 2007

STRESS AND EATING by Dr. Debra Holland

A dear friend who has recently gone through some painful and stressful life changes just posted that she’d lost 20 pounds over the last few months--at least 10 or 15 pounds more than she should lose, considering that she’s already slender. She wasn’t sure why she’d lost the weight because she thought she hadn’t changed her eating or exercise habits.

Most of the time, stress causes people to eat. (Bring on the comfort food. My personal favorites are chocolate and Mexican food.) However there are those painful occasions where difficulties, such as the ones suffered by my friend, may cause a loss in appetite. (I shudder when I remember a few of those times in my life.)

I feel this happened to my friend (and anyone else with this problem) because she had an emotional “knot” in her stomach, making her feel full. Thus she didn’t eat as much as normal.

I advised her to try eating healthy “soft” foods that can slide around the “knot” in her stomach. Soups, yogurts, and protein drinks are good choices.

My friend took my advice, then emailed to report that it helped, and her appetite had returned. That’s when I realized I should blog about this topic because there might be others out there who suffer from similar symptoms.

What about you? Are you a person who eats when you’re severely stressed, or do you lose your appetite? What foods tempt you when you’re stressed?

Debra Holland


At 7:06 PM, Blogger bridget said...

Thanks, Dr. Debra! Wonderful advice--I eat too much when preoccupied, but in life's true crises, my body says: "food? you've got to be kidding me"

At 12:40 AM, Blogger Jennifer Smith/Ila Campbell said...

Excellent point you make. When I am stressed I head for anything salty or occassionally chocolate, but mostly just hunt for my favorites, whatever they may be, and don't limit myself at all.

In severe (life-changing) stress, though, it's the knot. Never thought of that distinction!

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Dr. Debra. Love your column every month! I am totally addicted to sweets...all day, but especially after seven o'clock at night. I love candy and cookies and pie and cake, anything will do, but I can't seem to eat a small amount. I exercise almost every single day just to work off the sweets. Otherwise I would definitely lose an ounce or two. I don't think I'm stressed or depressed. I went five weeks without sugar one time. My skin looked better than ever and I lost 8 pounds. Why can't I stop eating sugar for good?! Maybe you could answer this in one of your upcoming columns?

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

I definitely crave sweets when I'm stressed out, but I'm trying to cull as many of them from my life as possible -- at least until I hit my goal weight, and even then I don't plan to go back to the eating something sweet every day, though I certainly could and enjoy it.

At 7:25 AM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

Give me bread! Wonderful warm homemade or bakery bread. I could eat two loaves at one sitting, stressed or not.



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