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STRESS MANAGEMENT: How To Resolve Stress Eating Without Changing Anything

Updated on May 13, 2016

Some of you may wonder what on earth has nutrition to do with stress?

Nutritional stress is actually a major type of physical stress for 21st century people as our bodies and organs are forced to digest, assimilate and metabolize what we eat and drink.

Here are my questions:

  • Do you load your body with toxic food, full of sugar, salt, fat and void of nutrients and vitamins?
  • Do you eat on hurry?

Stress destroys the balanced state of your body which is state of health and wellbeing and foundation of longevity.

The goal of stress management and stress nutrition in particular is to help the body to restore balance.

When it comes to digestion here are mainly two important concepts for you to consider.

Important concepts

When you experience stress aka threat (real or perceived):

- you tend to have poor nutritional choices.

- there are several changes taking place in your digestive system.

Poor nutritional choices (junk, comfort food etc.) mostly manifest in a weight gain and consequently in more stress.

Let’s consider for a moment what is going on in your digestive system when you experience stress on regular basis?

Stress affects all your body systems but often the first thing to be affected is the digestive system. During the ‘flight or fight’ or stress reaction the digestion is not directly involved and it shuts down letting all blood to sustain respiration, heart and muscles – systems directly involved in the desired outcome – flight or fight.

What happens in your body when you eat when under stress?

When you eat when stressed, your body cannot deal with the food – first the food can’t be properly broken down and absorbed well because of the lack of digestive enzymes. The result is that the body becomes at once deficient in many nutrients and is unable to replace them adequately.

You can suffer from nausea, constipation, gas or bloating.

During those lucky times when you have digestive enzymes – the protective lining of mucus in your gastrointestinal tract is missing – enzymes digest gut’s lining instead of foods. You can suffer from gastritis and ulcers.

Lack of water leads to constipation or diarrhea.

When food is not processed quickly because you suffer from constipation, sticky residues can build up and block absorption of nutrients (as you read you already lack them) and eventually allow toxins to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. You can experience headaches, migraines and bad skin conditions.

As well as problems with concentration, anxiety and insomnia.

Many of the health disorders that arise from stress are the result of nutritional deficiencies, especially deficiencies of the B vitamin complex, which is very important for proper functioning of the nervous system and is depleted by the body’s stress response.

Stress depletes your reserves of others micronutrients as well - potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, B vitamin complex, iron, chromium, calcium.

Stress promotes the formation of free radicals, so you have to intake more antioxidants such as vitamin C, A and E.

Stress Eating and the Consequences

What is a stress eating solution - mindful eating!

  • Knowing that you want to improve the quality of your life, optimize our weight, stop stress overeating and yo-yo dieting is one thing.
  • Figuring out alternatives when you’re under chronic stress and pressure is another.
  • In order to get sustainable results we need completely different approach - holistic approach.

Mindful eating examines all dimensions of eating (mind, body, thoughts, feelings) and it works! Research shows that mindfulness is a helpful for gaining more control over your eating habits and is a great long term approach for managing your weight.

Mindful eating is not a DIET.

It teaches an entirely new body-mind awareness approach to food, healthy eating, yo-yo dieting, weight loss and emotional stress eating - mindful eating.

About the Author

Dr.Inese Millere , M.D. is wellness and mindful eating coach for busy women after 40 who want to be Fit, Balanced and Ageless: to manage stress, stress eating, have a healthy and joyful relationship with food and enjoy healthy living and longevity.


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    • profile image

      Guest 7 years ago

      Nutrition balancing can also help in Reducing stress.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Very good info. I'm going to be home more and am very intentional of making our foods healthier. It might make some of our ailments go away.