Stress causes Dieting

When Did You Start Gaining Weight?

childproof lock on refrigeratorFor many women, weight gain started as soon as they started restricting the amount of food they were eating- as in a diet. If you were a heavy child, it may have been your parents who put you on your first diet. I’ve heard so many horror stories from women who told me how they parents locked up the pantry and refrigerator so they couldn’t get to the food.

Parents who humiliated their daughters actually contributed to their weight gain, both as children and then later as adults. ACE, a long term study that followed adults who were neglected, abused and humiliated as children show the affects later in life on the health and weight of these grown up children, and it’s pretty awful. You can take the test at this site and see how this type of upbringing may have affected your weight and health.

Pressure to Diet on Children

Young girls are so affected by media and society’s pressure that they are already fearful of getting fat and starting dieting by KINDERGARDEN! This is an absolutely terrible thing for a child to do, and to be focused upon. Why would a young child over-eat? There has to be a reason that points to the child being very unhappy and stressed out.

Girls are taught from a very young age that they must be thin to be accepted by others. In fact, it’s been estimated that about 75% of the children who are bullied in school are overweight. It’s a chicken-egg syndrome. Did bullying cause weight gain, or visa versa? Either way, it’s something that HAS to be stopped.

Dying to be Thin

This focus on weight and the need to be thin has created a generation of young women (and now some men as well) who are actually dying to be thin. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia are killing young people who literally starve themselves to death. Once this behavior has been established, it’s incredibly difficult to overcome, and MUST be addressed by professionals IMMEDIATELY. This is not something that can be stopped with will-power alone; medical and psychological support is a necessary component of recovering from this serious eating disorders. If this is your problem PLEASE seek help. Tell people you love about your problem and get help!

Chonic Dieting

There are other less extreme levels that are called “disordered eating” such as orthorexia, where a person will only eat “clean food” (whatever they think that is!); and chronic dieting. I was one of those young women who was always watching my weight, because of fear of getting fat like my mom (who I loved and respected, but just didn’t want to get heavy). I was already thin and active when I started dieting at 5’6 and 126 pounds. I had low self-esteem and disliked parts of my body (my round butt) which I erroneously believed I could change with a diet. It’s like an insanity – and it takes over your life. You can read more about my journey through decades of dieting to realizing I was being lied to by the diet industry. 

Although people will dispute that Anorexia Nervosa is created by a society that focuses on thin women, the point is no one starts dieting on their own unless they’ve been shamed, conditioned by standards of people around them, or have low self-esteem, are stressed out and are ashamed of their body.

How you put excess weight on in the first place is controlled by your eating habits. Many people use food for emotional comfort. If you are stressed, or bored, and find yourself rooting around in the pantry or refrigerator for something to eat, you will start adding weight. Stress increases cortisol in your body, and EVEN IF YOU DON’T EAT MORE, you can still gain weight from stress!  This is thoroughly researched and documented, although the diet industry doesn’t want you to know this. Furthermore, guilt from eating or “cheating” can make you feel guilty, and add pounds even though you are not over-eating! Belly Fat is the result of excess cortisol in your body and it is the result of stress!

Comfort Food?

Our very first association with food is love ! Newborn babies cry because their stomach is empty, and this warm body comes along and feeds you. The link is obvious: Food = Stopping the Pain, and the person who stops the pain is someone we love! What pain are you trying to stop by feeding yourself? Are you feeling unloved, and by nurturing yourself with food it fills that need?

The first way we can start dealing with understanding a weight problem is to become mindful. Before you put food into your mouth, ask yourself a question: Am I eating because I’m hungry? If not, why are you eating, and is it to fill a different need?

  • Feeling Stress and want comfort food
  • Socializing with others
  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • Frustration
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety

Diet Stress

Stress not only effects how your body metabolizes food, but also where the fat is placed on your body. The belly fat is the area that expands when our adrenal glands are affected by continuous stress. As soon as you go on a diet, your body shifts into stavation prevention mode. Your metabolism slows down to deal with the perceived threat of starving because of lack of food. This is a type of diet stress.

No matter how much dieting and exercise you do, once your adrenals are exhausted from habitual stress, the weight is not coming off and staying off! Dieting actually CREATES STRESS in your body!

Law Of Attraction and Dieting

Thinking that you are on a diet affects your thought patterns, and even has an effect on the Law of Attraction! Have you ever realized that as soon as you tell yourself that you are on a diet all you notice are food advertisements while watching TV? When you are away from home, your may find yourself only noticing stores that are selling food. Smells from these places become most prominent in your senses as well! That is The Law of Negative attraction.

Positive affirmations, repeated, and said with feeling, can help you focus on appreciating yourself NOW, and feel good about yourself! That is the Law of Attraction at work!

Bottom line: don’t be hard on yourself. Focus on enjoying eating to nurture yourself when you’re hungry, not for emotional reasons; and love and accept yourself the way you are to relieve the stress. And if you really want something, EAT IT. But be mindful and enjoy it!

Don’t Feel Guilty

So, some of the things you can do to help are: First, don’t get angry at yourself because your body doesn’t look the way you want, and realize the frustration is self-defeating (creating more stress, ugh!). Transform your thinking about food into a new way: you are eating for health, and enjoyment. Then you can feel good about what you are doing to take care of yourself- that’s a positive view, rather than an “I should…”. Don’t “should” on yourself.

Make a habit of doing some kind of self-healing regime daily.The Healer Within: Using Traditional Chinese Techniques To Release Your Body’s Own Medicine, Movement, Massage, Meditation, Breathing.  This is stress relieving and can help you to get over a focus on your appearance.

 My programs are designed to help you separate your eating habits from an emotional reaction. Comfort and Food don’t go together! Get a hug instead! Learn how to deal with stress in a way that will help you relieve the feelings without putting food in your mouth! You’ll feel so much better, and you won’t be adding extra weight, that will make you feel even worse! The Stop Emotional Eating: Stress Diet Solution is specifically designed to help you use mindful eating as a STRESS Relief practice that will stop the effect of cortisol on your body. It WORKS!