Weight Loss Challenges – Emotional Stress and Eating

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,094
    Dr. William McCarthy from the Northern Virginia Area Bariatric Consultants Weight Loss Center explains how emotional stress can lead to over-eating.

    Dr. William McCarthy: Hi! I'm Dr. William McCarthy from the Northern Virginia Area Bariatric Consultants Weight Loss Centre, and today I'm telling you how to overcome weight loss challenges.

    Now I'll discuss how to overcome emotional and stress eating while on a diet. Many diets fail due to stress. Stress can be something that's just ongoing, perhaps financial stress, home stress, stress with children, stress with family. There's also acute stress, things that are totally unexpected, a death in the family, maybe a child that brings home an F on a report card. So we need to deal with both types of stress.

    When we're under stress we not only want to eat but a body may not even burn fat due to stress, we raise our cortisol level and food relieves that stress. Food can actually stimulate to same receptors at some antidepressants and we learn that food will treat stress from early infancy. The food will take care of most anything. When a small child is crying, what do we do? We give that child some food until we discover later that he may need a change in diapers, but in the interim that food took care of that child's stress and we carry that same relationship with our food into adulthood.

    Now unfortunately there is always going to be stress in our lives, there will always be chronic stress and there will be episodes of acute stress. First thing we need to do is to identify the potential areas of stress or the stressors in our life. We also need to learn to anticipate the unexpected bad news; we may not know what's going to happen but we almost always need to prepare of how we're going to handle our diet in our lifestyle change when these things happen.

    Sometime stress is more severe, it maybe a manifestation of clinical depression or chronic anxiety, it also may even lead to or be caused by some type of eating disorders such as binge-eating or bulimia. In these cases it will need professional help and counseling, it may even need prescription medication.

    So those are just a few tips in overcoming emotional and stress eating while on a diet.