3 Tips on How To Beat it.
Following a divorce, grief sometimes leads to a drop in appetite, but more often divorce leads to an increase in waist size. An interesting side statistic is that each gender is affected differently from marriage: women tend to gain more weight after getting married while men tend to pack on the pounds more so after a divorce based on a 2011 study. However, in newly divorced people – both men and women – depression, anxiety and stress can lead to substantial weight gain. Under stress, we tend to easily give in to food cravings. Divorced couples also can get off track from a daily exercise regimen. Here are a few health tips to prevent that weight gain after a stressful divorce.
1. Be prepared against comfort eating. For many people, the same pleasure-reward centers of the brain that are triggered by addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin are also triggered by food, especially the good stuff we love: Sugary, fatty and salty foods. The pleasure-reward path can be so strong that people keep eating even when they’re not hungry, or even when they know those bad foods will for sure cause physical symptoms like indigestion and heartburn.
A great way to help cravings is to eat small, healthy meals or snacks through the day. This can balance your blood sugar, which can aid metabolism. So keep healthy snack options, including water, readily available during emotional cravings. Good examples are: Green tea or herbal tea, raw almonds, plain yogurt, cheese slices, hardboiled egg, a piece of fruit, veggies, and even a couple of pieces of dark chocolate.
2. Be cognizant of who you associate with. If you eat by yourself, that can be dangerous especially if you do all the grocery shopping. Grocery stores are designed to cater to our sweet tooth. Check out how many comfort foods are stocked near the cash register. If you fill your fridge with healthy foods, then that’s all you’ll eat at home.
Peer pressure is powerful and if you eat with more positive, healthier friends, you’re more likely to eat, grocery shop and exercise like them. You’ll influence each other to make healthy choices like better eating and regular exercising, which improves your waistline and your mood.
3. Don’t rely on willpower. It’s been proven that willpower can get used up. Exerting willpower all day is exhausting. This is why at the end of the day it’s so much easier to give in to bad eating decisions. At the end of a long and stressful day, we often give ourselves the excuse, “I deserve to eat what I want.” But in reality you’re feeding your food addiction to soothe your stress.
These three tips are important ones to help with emotional eating. Divorce is definitely a huge stress on men, women and even children and it’s been shown to affect health, particularly weight. With weight gain trends after a stressful divorce, it’s vital to focus on choosing to eat healthy.
Never blame poor health on circumstances, environment or even your genetics. You’ve gotten to this point in your life by the choices you make, whether that’s in regards to your relationship status, mood or physical health. I highly encourage you to talk to your health care provider if you are struggling to cope with the stress and weight of a bad divorce.