I often hear comments from other women that they eat when they are stressed. I am just the opposite. I stop eating when I’m stressed. I used to feel sick if I ate when stressed but to help me cope with this, I read about taking Acidophilus on a daily basis. Now my gastrointestinal tract stay healthy. When I was a kid, my stomach swelled up. Then I discovered lean protein, so now this girl has a tight tummy even when she is upset.
I am not everyone and I still feel I owe everyone else a good set of answers for destressing so, I did some research. As a former paralegal, it was my job to research legal matters and I got pretty good at it. In this case, I found numerous answers to stress eating issues. First of all, I read that tea, especially chamomile tea, has sedative effects. The best part about drinking the tea is the only way you get calories from most teas is if you add them to the tea!
The second item I found is dark chocolate. Not everyone loves chocolate, but for the chocolate lover, there is always dark chocolate. There are fewer calories in the dark chocolate, and I think almost every girl knows about the calming effect of chocolate. Plus, dark chocolate has a supply of appetite suppressing antioxidants. Also on the list with the dark chocolate is a sip or so of cola or eating a small cupcake. If you are in this for losing weight, might I suggest portion control? The cupcakes are not available in my house. I know myself and my husband far too well to believe that we are capable of portion control. I also do not keep soda in my house for the same reason. There is soda machine down the block for those extra stressful days. But like I said, my stomach needs cared for and that is first and foremost on my list.
Thirdly, when I am angry or on an intense research project, I chew gum. I used to smoke, but found I got sick a lot more, so I quit. Now it is one of two things: I either chew gum or a pen. Pen’s break in pieces and can be rather deadly if any of the pieces are swallowed, so I have to remember to buy fresh gum weekly. Plus gum is cheaper. The beauty of chewing is while you are chewing, your body is pretty sure it is eating, so hunger is staved off.
Fourth, as a writer, my brain works overtime. It is constantly coming up with story ideas. In that vein, I often cannot sleep due to my brain’s constant activity. For some of you, stress that has not been released keeps you up. I find that if I get up and take a swig or two of milk, I relax a little. If I don’t I make myself a cup of tea. Sometimes neither one of them helps and that’s when the pen and paper or the computer help. Once my brain is calmed by either the release of the thoughts or the assistance towards the sleep process, I sleep like a baby. It is so important to get a good night’s rest. From experience, I can tell you that when I am tired, I am stressed. The least little thing will send me off the edge.
Fifth, I substitute water for coffee. I used to drink a lot of coffee, mostly to energize me, but I found that water goes so much farther to energize me. I now drink coffee for the taste and a little extra energy nudge. Some people find that coffee frazzles their nerves. One or two cups do not affect me in such a negative manner, but I’m not everyone. For those people, the water works just as well and if you’re looking for the taste, go with decaf.
Sixth, I have a big dog who stresses me out, so I walk her – a lot. She is so big that we had to buy her a harness. Now I can walk her without being slammed into whatever is behind her. The simple fact that we are walking helps me stay calm – plus I tone up nicely.
Finally, the experts recommend fish oil, magnesium, and vitamin D. Fish oil works for me because it helps me stay more alert and I think clearly when I take it. Magnesium I recommend because it has been proven to help calm the body’s central nervous system. My doctor put me on a drug for this and when I found magnesium, I dumped the drug. I get my magnesium from my multi, fresh garlic, lemons, and the dark green lettuce I use in my salad. I also recommend popping extra vitamin D. The 400 IU’s in my multi don’t even come close. I read somewhere that doctors are putting people on more than 2000 IU’s to help them. Once the patient feels better, the patient can drop down to only 2000 IU’s.
If all else fails, pick up a bottle of melatonin. You do not need a prescription for this. I go to the Vitamin Shoppe for most of my vitamins, if I find that I cannot get enough nutrients from the food I eat. If you don’t have a Vitamin Shoppe, try GNC or a similar spot.
Most of the research I have done for this article comes from “Woman’s World”, a magazine I pick up from the grocery store on a regular basis. I am likely to buy a subscription, just for the sole purpose of saving me money. My biggest stressor is money. I am constantly worrying about not having enough of it for the next month. I have yet to see that month, but it is constantly on my mind, henceforth, I am a bit of a workaholic.