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Back to School Stress

Posted Sep 02 2008 12:00am

Are you feeling stressed right now? Summer is a busy time of year and it becomes hectic the closer we get to the start of school. It doesn’t matter whether you have children in kindergarten, grade school or college, back to school time means shopping for supplies, clothes and stress over separation. As nutritionist for the Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program, I see many patients right now who are stressing with back to school issues. Some may be struggling with trying to get the last family vacation in before the kids go back to school or parents are making long drives to take their college students to move into campus housing. With the new school year, there is anticipation of something new and as parents, we all worry for our kids. We worry that they will be safe, have a good teacher, make friends and get good grades.


So what happens when we begin to worry about these things? Sometimes we feel like there is not enough time to get our children prepared and we get anxious. The anxiety can cause us to eat more and we take in more calories or it may cause us to stop eating and slow down our metabolism. As we try to fit preparation for school into our already busy days, we may skip meals, eat out more and make unhealthy choices. What do we do? Well, start out with a good protein breakfast like eggs, egg substitutes or breakfast mea like Canadian bacon or turkey bacon. That will stabilize blood sugar and keep you satisfied for a few hours. Then pack healthy low calorie snacks like carrots, celery, radishes, cucumbers, edamame, or cheese sticks in your car, purse or briefcase to munch on. It will take the edge off hunger, give you something to crunch if you are feeling stressed and will boost your metabolism. Lastly, even though you may be stressed, order smartly if you do eat out. Yes, the chocolate cake looks good and will make you feel better temporarily after spending all day shopping for school clothes with preens or teens; but, tomorrow it will be on your hips making you ask, why did I eat it? Don’t do it!! Choose wisely, try a grilled entrée with vegetables or a large salad with chicken, shrimp or steak. Try the salad dressing on the side, it will save you calories and fat.

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