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If I'm trying to lose weight, how can I deal with stress without eating?

Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine

Face Your Problems:

When you confront what is bothering you or make changes in your life to find better satisfaction (find a new job, surround yourself with people who build you up, not bring you down, etc.), you are working to lower the stressors in your life. By addressing your stresses upfront, the less you need food in order to cope.

Learn How to Relax:

Cortisol is the hormone released in times of stress that can trigger cravings and lead to a slew of other health problems. Find something that helps you relax; yoga, listening to music, avoid over booking yourself and learn to just say NO, get in a positive frame of mind, or practice deep breathing!

Find Healthier Ways to Cope with Stress:

Food does not have to be your only way to cope with stress! Call a friend, read a book, go for a walk, exercise, write it out, or watch a funny movie. Find alternatives that bring joy to your life.

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
Journaling helps with so many aspects of our emotional health (and weight loss, too!) that it is one of the most prescribed self-help strategies out there. When you begin to unload your feelings onto the page or computer screen, you allow yourself to release emotional burdens and often gain insights into what is really bothering you. Take a "time out" and go for a walk or jog, get some vigorous exercise, take 5 deep breaths, meditate, pray or call a friend. Resist the temptation to stew with the bubbling emotions. Often, distracting yourself will allow the solution to a problem to come to the top of your mind with little effort.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.