Stress is likely to disrupt your eating habits and, depending on your stress type this will occur in different ways.
If You Find Yourself Skipping Meals...
Chances are you either a Dash and Crash Stresser or HyperDrive Stresser
The Dash and Crash Stressers tend to be high-achieving women who go, go, go until they collapse. HyperDrive Stressers are edgy, wound-up women who are vigilant, anxious, and never relax.
Does this sound like you? If so, here are a few facts about your metabolism that might help you decrease your levels of stress.
You are prone to skipping meals because your appetite tends to be suppressed. You also are more likely to struggle with addictions to things like coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes, which you use to help you calm down. Your eating is suppressed due to the appetite-suppressing effects of hormones that are released at the start of the stress response. As you recover from stress, one of the lingering effects of cortisol is to stimulate your appetite for comfort foods and sweets. Pay attention to your tendencies and make sure you eat three nutritious meals a day and have small, healthy snacks so that your body can obtain the nutrients and energy it needs to deal with your highly STRESSED state.
You should also cut WAY down on the fat. A diet high in fat will keep your cortisol levels elevated, which limits your body's ability to restore balance. We suggest you replace sweets and artificially sweetened desserts and snacks with fresh fruits. Limit alcohol to three to five drinks a week. Though a drink can be relaxing, more than that will interfere with your sleep. One study released in June 2009 also links more than three to four drinks a week to an increased risk of breast cancer.
If You Find Yourself Turning to Comfort Food and Over Eating...
Chances are you are either a Fried & Frazzled Stresser or a Detached & Shutdown Stresser
These two types have aches and pains and feel as if they never get enough sleep. Though they may seem calm on the surface, just a little stress provokes a big response. Detached & Shutdown Stressers can reach an extreme state in which the nervous and hormonal systems are severely imbalanced. Such women tend to withdraw, and act as spectators in their own life.
Does this sound like you? If so, you're probably drawn to comforting foods that stimulate endorphin production, especially foods that are both sugary and creamy. Endorphins are natural pain relievers, and since you are highly prone to chronic pain, you may turn to comfort foods in an unconscious effort to deal with that pain.
When a craving grips you, we suggest eating a piece of dark chocolate. The chocolate will calm the craving and boost your endorphin production. Dark chocolate is less processed and has less sugar than other types of chocolate. Snacks high in fiber are another good choice for you and can leave you satisfied. Your entire digestive system will benefit. And, if you are prone to irritable-bowel syndrome, especially when stressed out, the increase in fiber might help.
For other ways to fight stress through nutrition, exercise and relaxation, get a copy of So Stressed: The Ultimate Stress-Relief Plan for Women today. http://www.amazon.com/So-Stressed-Ultimate-Stress-Relief-Women/dp/1416593586/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259104641&sr=8-1