Stress Eating Disorders: Breaking the Cycle

There is a terrible circle of events that relates psychological stress to poor eating habits, but understanding how that cycle feeds upon itself is the first step toward breaking it and emerging as a stronger, healthier person.

stress-eating

People under stress face dramatically increased likelihoods of developing eating disorders; disorder behaviors in general present themselves as coping mechanisms, and eating disorders are among the most prevalent. However, unlike healthy mechanisms for coping with psychological stress, stress eating actually exacerbates the problem, amplifying the triggers that led to the psychological stress in the first place.

Poor nutrition can make stress worse; no matter what external forces are driving a person’s stress, be it work, school, family, money or broader cultural and societal pressures, unhealthy behavior such as stress eating can have the effect of digging an even deeper hole. The notion that “comfort food” can salve the ills a stressed person might be experiencing can lead to the breakdown of health from inadequate nutrients, as well as the bad effects seen from the typical food people suffering from stress eating disorders turn to: specifically, high calorie, high fat, high sugar and high carbohydrate foods.

Stress eaters know, on some level, that they’re damaging themselves and making the situation worse; but often the drive to step out of the cycle and re-engage a healthy lifestyle is overwhelmed by the circle of stress where things become worse and worse.

The first step in alleviating stress is to recognize it cannot be “eaten away” with so-called comfort foods that lack the nutrition the body needs to keep itself healthy. The next step is to work with a physician to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses diet as just one part of an effective stress management process. For more information and to begin to break out of this destructive cycle, contact us today!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in stress eating, Weight Loss | 0 comments

Proper Portion Size Key to Weight Management

CENTRALPASCO0903-300x225Whether you’re attempting to lose weight on your own or are working with trained professionals at a weight loss center, one of the keys is going to be figuring out ways to cut down the amount of calories from your normal daily caloric intake. Easier said than done, of course, but there are ways to help yourself continue to have enjoyable meals without packing in the calories as you might have in the past; one great tool we’ve found is taking advantage of the way your mind views a full plate.

There’s a tendency among people who are having trouble with weight management to look at a plate of food as a mountain climber looks at a distant peak: it’s something you’ve just got to finish, because, well, it’s there. But you can take that pattern of behavior and turn it on its ear simply by putting less on the plate. Changing how you think about portion sizing can be a huge help when trying to lose weight, and simply putting less on the plate is an amazingly powerful step.

Most people who “clean their plates” have little idea how many calories they’re really taking in, and nearly every restaurant on the planet has increased portion size in an attempt to lure in new customers. Bearing in mind you do need a certain amount of food to maintain your energy, also realize that this amount is far, far less than what’s served up at most restaurants — and when you serve yourself at home, don’t try to match what’s brought when you eat out.

Aim for a smaller portion size at every meal — just put less on the plate, and you’ll be surprised at how much less you eat. Here’s another trick: if you need a plate crammed with food, switch to smaller plates!

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 in diet, lose weight, obesity, stress eating, Weight Loss, weight loss center, weight management | 0 comments