Counseling Corner: Can the news affect your waistline?

Print Article

Can the news affect your waistline?

American Counseling Association

Today’s headlines often carry an overwhelming amount of bad news. Whether your information is coming from TV news, your local paper, the Internet or conversations with friends, odds are good that most isn’t good news.

All that bad news can bring stress that can certainly affect your waistline and other factors in your life. Simply hearing about bad things can raise the levels of anxiety and stress you’re experiencing.

When our stress levels increase, it’s a natural reaction that we look to things that will comfort us, even if we don’t consciously realize we’re doing that. And one of the easiest and most common ways to find a little comfort is to reach for some food.

It’s called “stress eating” because it feeds an emotional rather than a physical hunger. Food, especially sweet things, triggers emotional and chemical reactions in our bodies that make us feel better. Another negative story out of Washington? I think I need maybe just one more doughnut.

Stress eating is one of the most common sources of excessive weight gain. And while it may offer a temporary “good” feeling, it also directly affects our health and self-image.

The key to fighting stress eating is to recognize that it’s happening to you. Try to analyze why you’re eating the next time you reach for a snack. Are you physically hungry, or simply stressed, bored, worried or unhappy?

When it’s emotional eating that is adding those extra pounds, try to find other activities to help calm you down without adding calories. Exercise, for example, is one of the best. It not only burns calories and improves muscle tone but also boosts the action of feel-good neurotransmitters in your body. Something as quick and simple as a walk around the block will do the job.

Other substitutes for that unneeded snack can include reading a book, listening to music or talking to a friend. Any activity that helps calm you down without reaching for food is a step in the right direction.

And if you find you really must have a snack, make it a healthy one such as a piece of fruit.

Eating in response to stress is a common but very fixable problem. Often simply becoming aware of stress eating can help in minimizing the problem. If you need help in overcoming stress eating, consider seeking the help of a professional counselor.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association.

Print Article

Read More Lifestyle

Counseling Corner: Help teens deal with peer pressure

October 05, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News As parents we like to think we’re the most important influence in our children’s lives. And that’s probably true up to a certain age but then the outside world, in the form of school and friends, int...

Comments

Read More

How parents can build empathy and prevent bullying

October 02, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News (StatePoint) Sixty-two percent of 9- to 11-year-olds say they have been bullied at least “once or twice,” according to a recent national survey. The survey, commissioned by the Cartoon Network and d...

Comments

Read More

Counseling Corner: Don’t let tests overwhelm your child

October 02, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News Testing is a fact of life for students. Whether it’s a school system required standardized test, or simply an exam or quiz from the teacher to measure progress and understanding, tests can be a ma...

Comments

Read More

Montana lacks money to treat its most vulnerable residents

September 21, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News (Editor’s note: This story is part of The Montana Gap, a Solutions Journalism Network project in which The Western News is participating.) Fran Sadowski has seen firsthand the dangers of limited...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2018 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X