Stress and Dieting: How to Deal with It

Let’s face: stress can be incredibly dangerous to a diet. While not everyone reacts in the same way, many people respond to stress by eating, especially those foods they feel are ‘comfort foods.’ If you’re on a diet and trying to loose weight one of your biggest dangers is feeling stressed out. Since stress is a common part of life, what are you to do when it creeps up on you and you feel tempted to dash the diet and search out the comfort food?

In some cases, there might not be anything you can do; depending on how stressful the situation is. After all, we’re all human and none of us are perfect. Just make sure you don’t let one bump in the road become a habit that could completely devastate your diet. Keep in mind there are other ways in which you can respond to stress, other than eating.

Research has proven that exercise can be extremely affective at managing stress. Even just taking a walk around your neighborhood can help you to reduce the amount of anxiety you’re feeling as well as reduce other stress related symptoms such as headaches and nausea. And the bonus? While you’re exercising not only will you be reducing stress related symptoms but your waistline as well. Remember you don’t have to run a marathon. Even a short walk can work wonders.

If exercise isn’t an option consider other activities that may help to calm and soothe your nerves that do not involve food. What about visiting with a friend (provided it’s NOT at a restaurant) or soaking in a hot bath with a good book? Other options might include turning on some relaxing music, getting a manicure or taking a stroll through the local art museum.

The important fact to keep in mind is that feeling stressed out doesn’t give you the leeway to throw away all of the hard work you’ve put into losing weight. Chances are your stress will pass in a short amount of time and you’ll feel like your old self again. Remember the weight you gain as a result of a stressed-out binge won’t be easy to get rid of and will probably only lead to more feelings of stress. Before you reach for your favorite comfort food, give yourself some time and consider your options. You may well find that within ten minutes your stress has dissipated and you didn’t need it after all.

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