Monday, April 4, 2011

Food for thought

So, I received an email from my fill center that talked about stress and what it does to weight loss.  This made me laugh because of how coincidental it was with my mood today.  I am so close to starting my cycle that it is insane, I have not been sleeping well and we have been having some family drama in the extended wings of the family.  I noticed this weekend that I was snacking a little more and just tossed it off as PMS eating but does that make it ok?  I am all for having treats and not having a diet but a lifestyle of eating but I still find myself sneaking back into old habits.  Now, I say sneaking because it is not like I wake up and go "self, I want to eat like I used to and gain weight" cause, you know, that would just be stupid.  However, I do make excuses and allow more until I find old habits clawing at my taste buds.  Lucky for me I have a band to at least keep the snacks in a small amount and I also have been working hard for months and even when I do snack it is not anything compared to what I used to do.  For example, I ate 2 thin mint cookies Saturday (even though I was not hungry) along with pineapple, apples and cherries.  Six months ago I would have chucked the fruit and ate that whole dang box of thin mints and then wondered why I did not order two boxes, only to remember that I ate the second box the day before.  (that may be a slight exaggeration) Anyways,  I am just amazed at how easy it is to slip back but I am impressed by the fact that I am food savvy enough now to recognize the problem and fix it before I get all crazy.  Here is part of the email that my fill center sent.

Stress and Weight Gain
Many people become dependent on food as a way to cope with stress. In some cases it is a behavior developed from infancy. Think about it; babies associate feeling secure and safe with eating. The first love they know and feel come from eating. This is a healthy, normal emotion, but if emotional needs are not met, it can become a problem.
As we mature, our unmet emotional needs often result in stress. Much
too often we try and fill this void with food. Unfortunately many of us are stressed without realizing it or without knowing what it is causing it. Before we know it we fall into a cycle of emotional eating. The more stressed we become, the more we eat (graze) to alleviate whatever it is that is stressing us.

Physical Stress
Adding to the mental stress we encounter is the physical stress that can also contribute to weight gain. With today’s hectic schedule most of us do not receive the rest we need to rejuvenate our bodies. When the body becomes physically stressed it releases elevated levels of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol regulates our blood sugar and appetite ultimately leading to hunger, which makes it difficult to follow a weight loss plan, even with the band. When we don’t get sufficient sleep we experience a constant need to reach for something that will “pick us up”. As a banded patient you will be tempted to graze. Any time
your body is depleted of energy it will result in fatigue and stress. Both of these elements ultimately can lead to weight gain.

We all know how very hard it is to eliminate stress in our lives. Most of us try to “gut up” and deal with it. But with the paramount commitment you made to be banded you have too much at stake to let the stress/eating cycle sabotage your weight loss efforts.

What can you do?
  • First; ask yourself if this is a factor affecting your weight loss. If so; address it and research ways you can control physical and mental stress
  • Learn to recognize your stress signals
  • Experiment with positive techniques to deal with stress
    Talk to your family and friends and ask for help in recognizing and controlling your stress
  • Find ways to re-channel your thought patterns and find substitutions for comfort foods
  • Get the rest your body requires
  • If you feel you need professional help, seek it!
  • Ensure your band is adjusted properly that it might assist you in your efforts (remember you
    chose to get the band so it can assist you with hunger challenges)

The battle you have undertaken to meet your weight loss goals are difficult enough without the added components brought on by stress. By breaking the stress/eating cycle you could see major improvement in your weight loss goals.


  1. I just wanted to say hi, and that I just found your blog, and am now Following you!!


  2. Thanks Desiree, that was good. I was talking with a teacher friend about this the other day. Then my partner in crime put a box of donuts on my desk that said Happy Friday and also got us a box of cookies because we deserved it. Lord have mercy. LOL

  3. Hi there - also new follower :) Great info about stress and food - something I definitely need to be aware of!