Print Topic - Archive

BTD Forums  /  Live Right 4 Your Type  /  Sugar and Stress...Please Help
Posted by: SoulfulLori, Thursday, February 11, 2010, 10:32pm
Please share your methods or ideas if you will.

I've been keeping a food journal and see a real issue that keeps me from real health or moving forward.

I have been dealing with some pretty big stress of late in terms of my family life.  I'm working at the issues that create the stress but some of the things are totally out of my control and those things I have to learn to live with in peace.  I've been doing things like yoga, breathing exercises, quiet time, walks and things like that to release the stress.  Most times it works.  However, often I fall apart.  

When I feel out of control and upset inside I seem always to turn to sugary cereals and milk and fats in nuts.  These are usually the things I crave...oh and pizza.  Today, despite days of eating all great things for me and doing healthy exercise (well, maybe too much shoveling), I lost the battle against the carb call.  I tried eating compliant versions of my cravings but ended up eating those and the bad stuff too!

The emotion that triggers this is a feeling of exhaustion, frustration and lack of control in my life.  When I eat the things described I actually do get a sensation of "relaxation" and calm down.  However, as we know that later results in more emotional upset, depression, fatigue and weight gain.

I must stop this cycle.  I clearly see the pattern but yet have been able to get a handle on it.  I'm almost ready to hit delete here but feel I must put it out there if I ever have a chance to get past this behavior.

Has anyone else dealt with this?  Any suggestions?  (BTW...I'm only 10-15lbs heavier than I would like to be and have been that way for the past 3 years.  I'm saying I'm not totally out of control...just feeling a little like a prisoner to this seritonine rush (sp?).

Thanks for any help.
Posted by: Lola, Thursday, February 11, 2010, 11:00pm; Reply: 1
gorge on veggies, add good fats......sea need to take control
do your breathing yourself
Posted by: newtypeA, Thursday, February 11, 2010, 11:14pm; Reply: 2
Do you mean like, emotional eating? I have done that at times.

To this day I have memories of going to fridge every five minutes one day and grabbing another egg roll to pop in the microwave. As I ate the egg roll, it was like I was LITERALLY trying to stuff down the pain of a lost friendship. That was four years ago.

After a really, REALLY bad day at work (I'm talking a "Jonah" day), I've used alcohol to calm down. Rarely do this, but once in a blue moon I am pushed to that point.
Posted by: Ribbit, Thursday, February 11, 2010, 11:46pm; Reply: 3
Quoted from newtypeA

After a really, REALLY bad day at work (I'm talking a "Jonah" day), I've used alcohol to calm down. Rarely do this, but once in a blue moon I am pushed to that point.

:D  Jonah day.  That made me laugh.

I hope I'm not the only one that uses alcohol to calm down!!!  

Sometimes you just gotta eat a handful of chocolate chips.

And you do the best you can.

It'll pass.
Posted by: newtypeA, Friday, February 12, 2010, 12:13am; Reply: 4
Oh yes, I forgot about the chocolate chips!!! :-D

I've bought a bag of those, intending to bake them in cookies...then Aunt Flo's threatening to pay her monthly visit and I eat them right out of the bag to console myself.
Posted by: LuckyDog, Friday, February 12, 2010, 12:21am; Reply: 5
Lori - Get The Mood or Diet Cure - by Ross
You body has been through a ton and my guess is some of the brain chemicals that would help you cope with the stress are just shot.  
I did that to myself with the bodybuilding (I know you get that) and started using The Diet Cure as a repair manual and I have seen huge relief.  I'm still working on a lot of things but now I can work on them versus being swept away by them
Posted by: LuckyDog, Friday, February 12, 2010, 12:23am; Reply: 6
Quoted from newtypeA
Oh yes, I forgot about the chocolate chips!!! :-D

I've bought a bag of those, intending to bake them in cookies...then Aunt Flo's threatening to pay her monthly visit and I eat them right out of the bag to console myself.

I'm confused!  Aren't those bags actually convenient individual servings? - duh! ;D

Posted by: SoulfulLori, Friday, February 12, 2010, 3:09pm; Reply: 7
Quoted Text
I'm confused!  Aren't those bags actually convenient individual servings? - duh!

That is so funny.

Thanks everyone!

LD...yes!  This makes sense to me.  Ribbit also said it about calming down.  I never realized until I kept this journal that when I do these things certain things happen and this is the result.  The process is the same.

1.  I have been on track for at least 3 days like a champ and feeling good but the munchies are starting to set in because I'm losing weight.

2.  I'm tired.

3.  A major "Jonah type stress" happens.

4.  I feel like I'm exhausted on the outside and full of panic on the inside and feel the need to calm down.

5.  I eat a ton of carbs, sugar and diary.

6.  I'm then calm but later feel fatigued, depressed and my allergies a go out of whack and I need asthma medicine.  Now repeat cycle.

LD, I will get that book because yes, I have no doubt chemically I am a mess.  I'm a tough gal but at some point the system does need rebooting.  Thank you for the suggestion...will do!  Writing it down now.

Thanks Lola...will work more on the breathing exercises too.  I think the trick is to catch it BEFORE critical mass.
Posted by: Gumby, Friday, February 12, 2010, 5:59pm; Reply: 8
Yes I find a glass of red wine can be most helpful.  :D

Also, I never keep c**p I'm not supposed to eat in the house, which helps too.  Cuz if it's here, there are times when I can't leave it alone.  Now, I may polish off an entire bag of rice chips now and again....or eat far too many toasted onion brown rice snaps slathered in ghee...or way too many of my roasted pecans or almonds....but at least they are good stuff for me, all of them seem like a treat, and they satisfy me without sending me into a tailpsin.  Fat and protein seem to stop my craving for sugar/fat combos.

Although I have to say, when I get to feeling panicky on the inside, food is the last thing I want.  That doesn't happen to me much anymore, but when it does I don't want food.  It's the daily stress/pms combo that gets me wanting to eat!
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, February 12, 2010, 6:18pm; Reply: 9
There are a few things I do when I'm stressed:

1) I take a B-50 supplement every day. When I'm feeling stressed, I'll take 2 a day. Stress makes us use a lot of B vitamins, and since they're water soluble, if you take too many you just pee them out. It can't build up in your body or cause harm (unless you have kidney issues, since it's the kidneys that filter out water-soluble vitamins.)

2) Bach Flower Remedies are excellent if you've been feeling stressed or "out of control" for a while. I own nearly all of them, and when I find myself (and/or my kids) feeling stressed out, I try to figure out exactly which emotions are at the root, and find the appropriate remedies for each of us to get us back in balance. I do a websearch and look up each remedy to see which ones seem to fit what I need at the time, and I always check at least 2 different sources- each one describes the remedies slightly differently, and that can help clarify which one is the most appropriate. Most websites that describe them also sell them, so you can order remedies online if you can't buy them locally.

3) If I'm feeling food cravings, I ask myself if I'm really hungry or not, or if there's a specific nutrient I'm missing.

There are times when I gorge on chocolate chips because I've forgotten to eat and I'm honestly hungry! A proper meal is a heck of a lot more satisfying than 12oz of semi-sweet chocolate when it's food that I need. Don't feel guilty about needing and eating more foods when you've been exercising a lot- shoveling over a foot of snow burns a lot of calories! Maybe you needed more food yesterday because of that.

If the answer is "no, I'm not really hungry, I just feel like eating" then sometimes I'll go for a walk or read a book or take a bath and do something other than consume anything.

Other times, when I'm not hungry but "want something to eat", I'll have a beverage instead. If I'm thirsty, a glass of water will be satisfying. A cup of herbal tea can be satisfying when I want "something" but really don't need the calories at that moment. At that TOM (time of the month), I want chocolate. I need chocolate! But I don't need to have the sugar in the chocolate chips, and I'll feel better if I don't. Sometimes I'll munch on unsweetened baking chocolate (followed up by dried fruit if I feel the need for sugar) and other times I'll make myself a cup of hot cocoa: 1 tsp cocoa powder, dash stevia, dash cinnamon, 7oz hot water, and 1oz rice milk. That hot cocoa is REALLY satisfying, and it's without the sugars that set off the cravings and make me feel ill. Sometimes I use molasses and/or agave instead of the stevia or in combination with it, and sometimes I just use the stevia.
Posted by: newtypeA, Friday, February 12, 2010, 6:27pm; Reply: 10
I never thought about the fact that stress uses up B vitamins.

For awhile I took Rescue Remedy to help me cope with work (mainly coworkers), or to give me the calmness to face things like bills or other unpleasant things. After reading a list of signs of B deficiency, I realized many of the signs had been part of my life for YEARS.
Posted by: SoulfulLori, Friday, February 12, 2010, 6:58pm; Reply: 11
Gumby, I agree with you.  Generally I wouldn't keep it in the house but I have two step-kids that have so much stress over the fact that I do things differently than their mom that I try not to change too much.  I know what they eat at their mom's so I have that stuff here even though I myself feel it is wrong.  I have to pick my battles.  The bigger battles are teeth brushing, bed times and makeup issues for the girl.  I sort of lost the energy to battle the meals.  I cook healthier meals for them and they like that but certain things they have a fit without. I know revealing some of my stress causes???

Ruthie, that's a lot of great info...writing it all down.  B vitamins...yeah, I only take the B-12...I think Dr. D will have a lot of suggestions on my supps.

NTA, I gotta look up B defeciency now.
Posted by: Goldie, Friday, February 12, 2010, 7:50pm; Reply: 12
I HAVE been there and back.. I think that eating under stress is what all of America does.. the only difference is that we have extra crappie food so easily available and so we go to it..

WHAT is nice is that NOW we can see what that food does to us and the next time we can choose to DO something about the situation or about how we feel and know that we need to plan ahead.

IN THE HEAT of the moment, its nearly impossible to make the best choice.. but a piece of dark chocolate in the micro for 35 sec and eating it with the fingers is best as it takes longest to eat..  

Then eat a crunch fruit or nuts or a cold fruit smoothie sit and contemplate your naval..

Then comes some ice-cream frozen in the ice tray with a stick in it.  Even a few of those is less than a bowl full.    

BUT BEST OF ALL the day after when you feel crappie then KNOW WHY.. I used to forget and complain to a DEAR friend and then he would gently ask:  what did you eat yesterday?  and OHH ..Dohh I would feel fine because I remembered... today I remember sometimes by my self.. (have notes all over my walls to help me to do so.

TODAY also I don't need to run to the doctor or the chiro, or the masseuse.. I KNOW WHY I don't feel well and I can make peace within and start my day over.. no money spent.. with food I have in the house for me.. Chocolate way up in the closet, in a plastic bag, in a tray.. fruit or ice chips for smoothies all allowed..

and I try to have meat for O in ready to eat or cook in strips in 3 minutes.. ALL this is BENEFICIALS..or neutral..  
I only cheat avoids OUT of the house..     and eat a whole bar of dark chocolate.  (regular has become to sweet after a while of staying away).. I am up to 85% coco or higher over the last 3 years.   95% compliant and feeling great..

DOES this help? if not -call a friend or me.. or go in the bathroom and laugh over some joke .. even if you just force your self to do so out laud.. or cry into a thick towel..  

As for some.. drinking or eating avoids is : 1 is to many while -1000 is not enough...  
Posted by: SoulfulLori, Saturday, February 13, 2010, 12:12am; Reply: 13
Joli-o...I'm rolling over the contemplate your naval comment.  I  just love what you wrote...all of it.  I totally agree with your last statement about 1000 is not enough...that's me.  Normally, I have no issue and I'm a BTD queen.  However, as I start to lose weight and get a little tired and a big stress comes I am like a mad woman.

I do need to call a friend more.  Today it started to happen and I told myself to do breathing exercises first.  I did and had a little relief.  I then made a compliant smoothie but with a few extra calories.  Was a little better.  Then a friend called me somehow knowing I was fretting.  That gave me enough relief to finish the day on top.

I think LuckyDog makes a huge point about amino acids and I will talk to Dr. D about those and also the B Vit. suggestion from Ruthie.  I know I lack both of these things.  Dr. D mentions Tyrosine for A's.  I will see him March 12th so I will just try to hold on until then.

I also noticed that my Florinef is not working under all this stress.  I'm losing salt like crazy.  I'm now going to up my sea salt in water intake to 2 tsp per day with added salt in my food.  Yes...that much.  My sodium levels were just tested and they are normal but low normal and I've nearly passed out twice this week alone.  I will ask Dr. D about my adrenals (that's what Florinef does...mimics aldosterone).

Most of all, I have a lot of stuff on my plate right now.  I think I will focus on the good foods and not worry so much about weight loss.  I don't think an extra serving of nuts here and there will kill me and if that be it.

Thanks everyone...I feel quite empowered.  Send me your psychiatric bill.
Posted by: grey rabbit, Saturday, February 13, 2010, 1:01am; Reply: 14
I would have a much harder time dealing with my life without my L-Tyrosine, in the past when I have run out of it I could really feel the difference and it was not good.
Posted by: newtypeA, Saturday, February 13, 2010, 1:06am; Reply: 15
My mom uses Theanine Serene to help her with stress. I think theanine is recommended by Dr. D for A's right?
Posted by: Lola, Saturday, February 13, 2010, 2:12am; Reply: 16
Posted by: Symbi, Sunday, February 14, 2010, 1:29am; Reply: 17
SoulfulLori - glad you are feeling better.  This board is the best support  :)

Hope you are taking time out to calm and peace, taking deep breaths.  Realise that you are not responsible for anyone elses behaviour.  You do the best you can and that's all you can do.  Try to accept the things that you cannot change.  Some battles aren't worth fighting.

I had 4 step mothers so I know step parent relationships are always somewhat strained, just like in law relationships (though I'm lucky in that regard)  :).  Talking about the problems with someone may help.

Found out recently that progesterone is a precursor to aldosterone (I have adrenal issues too I guess - low Sodium, sensitive to light, fatigue).  My progesterone is low so I wonder if that's related to my adrenals.  I wonder if your hormones are in balance?  

I saw your list (great idea putting things like that)

"1.  I have been on track for at least 3 days like a champ and feeling good but the munchies are starting to set in because I'm losing weight.

2.  I'm tired."

That step 2 is big.  It may reduce your ability to cope with stress and that may be why you reach for the crutches (sugars).  Try and reduce feeling tired all the time.  Are you getting enough sleep?  Enough relaxation time?  Enough exercise?  Hope you aren't trying to lose weight too fast as that can stress the body and release alot of toxins for your liver to process.  Maybe some liver support could help?

Fluctuating blood sugar levels (like you get a sugar high and then a low later) don't help with stress at all.  Can you try and reach for low GI carbs instead (like brown instead of white).  Nuts are a great snack in moderation.  

Recently I've been enjoying licorice and it seems to help with adrenal problems.  Real licorice with glycerin can raise blood pressure so don't use it if you have high blood pressure.
Posted by: LovetoRead, Sunday, February 14, 2010, 2:21am; Reply: 18
I was thinking adrenals as well.....
Posted by: SoulfulLori, Sunday, February 14, 2010, 5:58pm; Reply: 19
Symbi, everything you say is so right on target.  If it is ok, I may PM you to ask a little step parent advice if it is ok and not a bother.  The kids and I get along great and I try very hard not to "be their mom" as they have one already.  Like a doctor I try to do no harm.  The problem is that both households are very different.  I've asked and offered to their mom to maybe make similar rules that are agreeable to both of us.  Let's just say that didn't go over so well.  I tried my best and try to keep an open mind and make the differences as easy as possible.  Sometimes I'm human and I become overwhelmed and feel that I can't be soooo understanding allll the time.  

Yes, I did get a little silly and enjoyed the weight loss part of this and started to really be strict and eat the lower amounts suggested.  Not working for me in stress.  I now see that if I am to eat too much of the good stuff  that does way less harm then eating a little of the avoids.  I think I'm feeling much better about that.  I also fessed up to my hubby that the pressure on me is a bit much and that I felt bad about it.  That made me feel better and he was very understanding and helpful.

I've also started a habit of doing breathing exercises every time I get tired or feeling of anxiety and I don't put anything in my mouth unless I do 4 alternate nostril breaths.  I can't believe how much that helps.  Just 4 repeats of that does "slow it down" and give me a little control.

I am totally going to ask Dr. D about the hormones.  I have low blood pressure and take Florinef for the salt wasting and low blood pressure.  It has ceased working despite 2 tsp of sea salt along with the salt in my foods.  I believe Licorice may be my next thing but I will wait for Dr. D to tell me.

Thanks Symbi and LTR.  I don't want to be a prisoner to freaking cereal!  I also want to stay more even and not sabatoge all my wonderful efforts.

Well...back to my wonderful Valentine's day.  Hubby offered to take me to brunch but I made healthy brunch for both of us and then we walked the dog for 2 miles (even though it was cold).  IT was lovely.  Now off to some lovely drive or something.

Have a great day all!
Posted by: LauraT, Sunday, February 14, 2010, 9:36pm; Reply: 20
rhodiola, rhodiola, rhodiola!

I was so emotionally and energetically addicted to sugar, and I'd tried everything, but as soon as I felt deprived, I just wanted sugar more.  

Everyone is different, but my most effective method was to allow myself to have sweets when I wanted them and in the meantime, do everything to rebalance my body chemistry.  When you aren't having sugar cravings, eat a lot of vegetables and protein.  The second you get a craving, notice how you tense up and get frantic and then remind yourself you don't have to feel that way.  You have a choice.  It's a health issue, not a moral issue.  When chemistry is off, we don't have the same facility over our choices... it's like walking a tightrope.  

When I forget rhodiola, I notice a slight increase in sugar cravings.  Also, if I've had any avoid grains (especially corn - I don't go near wheat) I get cravings.  I had beer a while back and it was disastrous.  I got off track for days.

Good luck!  Reward yourself for the days you eat well, and be compassionate with yourself when you're stressed and sugary.
Posted by: Lola, Monday, February 15, 2010, 5:21am; Reply: 21
Quoted Text
increase in sugar cravings

Quoted Text
Dr D on cravings-
Very often this type of sugar reaction complicates an
otherwise nice result from the diet. Usually its just that the liver
is having some problems adjusting to the new way of eating, and needs
some rehabilitation. Try taking the herb "Milk Thistle" for a while
(commonly available at most health food stores) and having a cup of
licorice root tea at about 10AM and 2PM. Usually a few weeks of this
suffices to get things back on tract. Do not use licorice without
physician supervision if you suffer from high blood pressure.
"Celestial Seasoning" and "Stash Teas" are two good brands.
Posted by: SoulfulLori, Monday, February 15, 2010, 12:56pm; Reply: 22
Laura, Yes, I feel like a chemical mess really.  Yes, a little avoid sends me totally off track and I have to fight to get back on and it is a total shame.  Tense and frantic is how I feel at those times.  Thank you for that info.

Lola!  Wow...thank you for that info.  That's totally it.  This craving is the only thing that messes up my "nice results".  Licorice root tea...this is perfect!  First, 10-2 is when I often feel very low.  Second, I used to loooove the Stash tea version and for some odd reason stopped drinking it.  Also, the licorice probably will help with the dizzy issue too.  Two birds with one stone.  I will find the MIlk Thistle too as I know my liver has been struggling for a long time.  I used to be able to handle alcohol but after my year of chemo and radiation, I feel so sick just from one little glass of red wine.  I think my liver is probably disgusted with me.

I will also ask Dr. D about Rhodiola because that has been suggested a lot.

Lots to order today!
Posted by: Symbi, Monday, February 15, 2010, 1:19pm; Reply: 23
That's great to hear you had a nice valentines Lori.  We had a nice day here too, though it's been very hot and sticky here.
Glad you liked what I said cos I was assuming alot I guess.   :)
Gee, you've survived cancer too, what a survivor!  Congratulations to you.  If you can do that, you can do anything!  Seeing Dr D too, that's really lucky.

Lola - thanks for the info, great stuff as usual!

For the liver, I'm loving dandelion and chicory root tea at the mo it seems to help alot.
ahem, excuse my ignorance - What is rhodiola?
Posted by: Golfzilla, Monday, February 15, 2010, 1:39pm; Reply: 24
Quoted from SoulfulLori
Please share your methods or ideas if you will.

I've been keeping a food journal and see a real issue that keeps me from real health or moving forward.

Thanks for any help.

It seems most of the times this happens to me a cup of hot tea really helps, or a protein smoothie. I recall reading something about drinking somehting hot signals the brain to stop the hunger signals...

Also exercise works for me. I have more cravings when I skip it for a day or so...

I really wish I could help more but I am sending strong healthy energy to you ;)
Posted by: Lola, Monday, February 15, 2010, 4:49pm; Reply: 25
Rhodiola: A powerful adaptogen
Posted by: Symbi, Monday, February 15, 2010, 11:09pm; Reply: 26
Thanks for the info Lola.  Sounds like it's great for Type Os, no wonder the Russians are so good at sports too.  :)

Golfzilla - that's really interesting about hot drinks turning off the hunger pangs.  (think) I've returned to fighting weight the last year drinking frequent herbal teas and green teas, even in the heat, soothes the throat.  Interesting.  
Cheers, better make another cuppa  :)  Green tea time.  Read something yesterday about "Green tea may help prevent autoimmune diseases" -

Lori - tips I have about step families but I don't want to get preachy, this is IMHO.  You have your rules for your house and the other mother has rules for hers.  They don't have to be the same, but the kids have to know them and follow them when they are in your house.  You can try to influence by example but it may be difficult to change anyone and what they do.
It is advisable for the disciplining to be kept to their birth parents though as they aren't likely to take disciplining from you unless you are very close.  One stepmother of mine took over disciplining me and I learnt so much from her.  Having two mothers could teach them so much.  Best of luck with it all.
Posted by: SoulfulLori, Tuesday, February 16, 2010, 4:23pm; Reply: 27
Thanks Lola!

Symbi, thank you for your comments and they are not preachy.  I asked and needed to hear them.  I try to do as you say, I leave the discipline really to the hubby but I do have boundries and rules in the house and I try to make them fair and clear and limited.  It is hard as there was a lot of "stuff" going on before I came along.  I sort of didn't really see it until after I got married...sigh.  Luckily the kids don't really see me as the issue but it is hard for all of us.  We are working on it and getting some help.  I hope one day they say I was a good thing in their life and not a bad.

Golf...good idea...I'll add that to my list of tricks!  You are so sweet.
Print page generated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 1:01am