Can Dieting Turn You into a Stress Eater?

On the one hand too much stress can make you fat. On the other hand the wrong kind dieting can lead to stress eating.
According to Redbook magazine, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania shows dieting can change the way your brain responds to food. If you follow a restrictive diet, you may actually be training yourself to comfort or self-soothe with food.

Restrictive dieting or fad diets that don’t allow you to eat serotonin-producing foods such as potatoes, for example, may be as stressful to your body as working a 10-hour shift in an emergency room.

Some people wonder, ‘Can dieting make you fatter,’ and the answer is ‘yes.’ That’s why it’s so important to follow a mood-boosting diet instead of one that makes you feel cranky and deprived.

Choose mood-boosting foods

Consider taking fish oil which has been known to boost weight loss and decrease depression. I like the Barlean’s Mango Peach flavored fish oil supplement because it tastes like a smoothie. Other great mood-boosting foods include fish, potatoes, avocados, nuts and yogurts.

Exercise but don’t over-exercise

Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel good. But too much exercise can make you feel tired and grumpy. Make sure to rest the day after an intense interval training type workout such as running or Insanity. Your workout can make you fat if it leads to extreme hunger.

Don’t skip meals

When you skip meals, your body thinks it’s starving and works even harder to store fat. Release fat-storing enzymes by eating when you are actually hungry, but not overeating. If you have no idea how much you should eat in a day, have your resting metabolic rate tested professionally.

Stop and smell the peppermint

Relax by taking a bath with scented bath salts, using scented massage oils or simply drinking tea with peppermint. Certain scents relax you and/or decrease your appetite. The theory behind the Millionaire Matchmaker’s favorite Sensa sprinkle diet is that certain scents make you eat fewer calories.

Make time for massage, sleep

If you can’t afford a massage, ask a loved one to give you a back massage. Offer to swap massages with a close friend. Massages can help you relax so you don’t want to eat more. Sleep is also extremely important for weight loss. Sleep more to lose weight. Instead of drinking caffeine or eating sugary treats, take a power nap in the early afternoon.

Finally, if you don’t want to turn into a stress eater, do not eat fewer calories that you burn while at rest (your resting metabolic rate or RMR). Lose weight by alternating between rest days and workout days. You will burn fat and sculpt a sexy body without becoming a stress eater.