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stress= eating less?


Posted by Yelling_In_Silence

I have heard that most people when they are stressed tend to eat more. When I get stressed it takes a lot of effort for me to eat. I may goes days without eating and not wanting to does anyone else experience this?
 
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Food is used (and not used) differently for every person.  This is something I would - and have - discussed with a professional.  Whether you overeat or under eat, both should be tended to.  Doing each can cause even more stress and can become a very unhealthy cycle, especially if there may be a history of disordered eating in the past.  I see that you are anorexic, as well, from your blog.  I would take these signs as huge red flags of a possible relapse and they should be battled head on, right away.

Stress affects everyone differently. It can make people eat more, less, or no differently than they usually do. What we do know about stress is that it takes a significant toll on us, physically and mentally. It's so important that we find ways of managing stress so we don't resort to "coping" with it in ways that can really be damaging to us. For someone who has an eating disorder, or other related issues with food, managing stress/emotions/life in general does manifest in food related behaviors. An individual who suffers from binge-eating disorder, for instance, will tend to eat/binge more if under increased stress; someone who suffers from anorexia will tend to eat less than he/she usually does when she faces increased stress. The most important thing is for each of us to recognize when we are under stress and find ways to deal with that stress before it becomes overwhelming. 

I would tend to agree with Emmy. If you are recovering from anorexia, this should be a big red flag for you... because once you start going down that slippery slope, it can be hard to climb back up, as I'm sure you know.

I would talk to your therapist or nutritionist, or both. I would also suggest that if you do have problems eating when you are very stressed out that a) you find ways to decompress. Take a bubble bath, read a good book, whatever helps you to relax, try it, and b) be wise in what you DO choose to eat. Choose higher caloric foods, even if they're just prepared shakes. That way, if you aren't able to eat much, you are at least getting a lot of nourishment with what you do eat. 

I've been a non-purging bulimic since I was about five years old. Even I don't always eat as a result of stress, though that's more typical for me, and I have to watch out for that type of stress eating. But there are times, when, yes, it's absolutely something I have to push myself to do. 

I would get your therapist's insights, and if you don't have one, I highly recommend finding one who specializes in treatment of eating disorders. Good luck! 

I think the good thing is that you're recognizing that stress makes you eat less.  Because now that you know, you can take action to make sure you eat appropriately.

It's nothing bad, necessarily, that stress makes you lose your appetite.  It does for me, and it's one of my biggest Achilles heels (I'm like an octopus- I have many. :)  But just because you don't really feel like eating doesn't mean you shouldn't eat.  You can eat and not be hungry.  And going for several days without eating is NOT good, EVER, for anyone under any circumstances.

What are some ways to help you relax?  Can you relax and cook?  I find that relaxing, and then you have food to nourish you once you're done.

I've noticed that whenever I am under a lot of pressure or stress I restrict my food intake as well, often without even being aware of it. It is good that you can recognize when you are under stress and see how it is affecting your eating patterns. Take that valuable information and do something with it next time you realize it's 6pm and you haven't had anything to eat all day. Become hyper aware of your schedule and pserhaps set an alarm on your phone that will go off every 3 hours so you remember to grab a bite to eat (snack, meal, what have you). I find this helps sometimes. But when you aren't hungry and stressed on top of that, eating is potentially the last thing you want to do. If you are serious about recovery, make a commitment to yourself right now to follow some sort of meal guideline. Good luck getting back on track!
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