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The Elimination Weight Loss Diet - Stress, Smoking and Weight Loss (Chapter 18)

Updated on December 11, 2012
The Elimination Weight Loss Diet - Chapter18
The Elimination Weight Loss Diet - Chapter18


Chapter 18 – Stress, Smoking and Weight Loss


Over the years, whenever I was in a high stress situation, I tended to gain weight and I was only able to diet successfully when I was in a low stress situation. For example, I weighed about 285 pounds when I graduated from high school and during my first year in college I ballooned up to 325 pounds.


I attended a local extension center of the University of Wisconsin in a nearby city. I was taking six subjects and some of the classes were in the evening. I would leave early in the day, spend the entire day there and come back in the evening. Class work was more difficult than high school, and by the time I got home I was exhausted.


To relieve the stress and reward myself, I would frequently make a large bowl of buttered popcorn and washed it down with a can of soda. Needless to say I gained 40 ponds in nine months and I wasn’t even pregnant.


The next episode of stress induced weight gain occurred after I quit Dupont and started working for Ford Motor Company in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. My initial job there was as a shift engineer, which involved working seven days a week, rotating shifts and sometimes working 12-hour shifts.


My stress level was high and all I seemed to do was work, sleep and eat. I gradually gained more weight until I peaked at 345 pounds. Fortunately, how I finally got motivated and lost 125 pounds is explained in the Introduction to the Elimination Weight Loss Diet.


Finally, more than three years ago, I gained back 40 pounds when I quit smoking cigars after 50 years of smoking. I am still struggling to recover from that setback and this will be the topic of a special section at the end of this book.


The point that I am trying to make from all of these examples is that stress causes most people to gain weight and if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you may first have to work on reducing the stress in your life. The following is a list of suggestions based on years of experience trying to lose weight and finally succeeding:


1. Never start a diet when you are in a high stress situation.

Based on my personal experience, if you start a diet when you are in a high stress situation, you will inevitably fail. It is better to put off the diet until you can eliminate the source of the stress or at least defuse it.


2. Never try to stop smoking and lose weight at the same time.

Either one is extremely difficult and stressful by itself, and if you try to do them both together, you are destined to fail. Pick one and complete it before you attempt the other one. I cover this topic in more detail in Appendix II.


3. If you are trying to lose weight and you encounter a high stress situation, suspend your diet until you can eliminate or reduce the source of the stress.

Suppose you are dieting and you lose a loved one or you lose your job. It is best to suspend dieting, which is also very stressful, until you have recovered. Remember that the intent of your diet should be long term behavior modification and not short term weight loss.


In summary, losing weight is stressful enough without combining it with any other stressful situation. The intent of the Elimination Weight Loss Diet is to reach your ultimate goal and it is not crucial how fast you get there.


How to Reduce Stress In Your Life

Relaxing Anti-Stress Music


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    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 6 years ago from India

      Yes, stress releases a powerful steroid called cortisol, which encourages your body to store fat. our brains release a series of hormones, some of which suppress appetite, and in some cases can lead to weight loss. So try to make changes every day to eliminate stressful events. thanks for your valuable tips rjsadowski

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 6 years ago from Florida

      This Hub is very informative and useful, and I voted it that way. I have friends who have gained so much weight by eating too much under stress.