Coronavirus stress and weight gain-please advise

During the first lockdown I started binge eating and I ended up gaining 10 kg. I am so done with this, but I need to find a way to stop eating whenever I feel down and stressed. Also changing my diet feels so scary since I don't really know where to start from, (what's the correct amount of food for breakfast, lunch dinner, calories count and better food combinations? etc) . It feels like a huge step that I want to take but don't know how. Any advice is welcome.

Replies

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,697 Member
    Speaking of food and stress and sleep, I've been meaning to start a thread about how foods can affect our sleep and have finally done that:

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10819241/how-foods-may-affect-our-sleep/p1
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,697 Member
    I feel you! Terrible year...

    Normally I manage my anxiety with regular exercise, and increased exercise for times of increased stress, but that's not working as well this year so I also:

    1. Decreased news consumption
    2. Decreased caffeine
    3. Started therapy (remotely)
    4. Increased yoga
    5. Attempt meditation (I am very familiar with meditation but struggle mightily to get into the proper headspace where I am willing to attempt this.)
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
    Two simple suggestions.

    First come up with alternatives for stress. Going for a walk, doing yoga, hitting a punching bag, listening to your favorite music. Just a few ideas.

    And start logging everything you eat, drink as accurately as possible. Then start cutting back your portions and/or making substitutions. Using 2% milk instead of whole. Having grilled or baked instead of fried. More vegetables and less starchy sides. (Because non starch veggies are lower cal.)
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    edited December 2020
    As far as the correct amount of food, what I always suggest for people who feel lost is to just eat what you would normally eat for a week, and log everything in MFP. Just measure (preferably weigh) and record every bite of food or drink. Don’t try to change anything, just record it. Then you can look at it and get a better idea of where you are now and where it would be easiest to make changes. It will also get you into the habit of logging.

    Stress management is tough right now! I like doing something active when I feel tempted to stress eat. Go for a walk outside, or if that’s not possible do a YouTube exercise video. Or just put on your favorite music and dance around! Or if it’s too late, go to bed, staying up too late stress eating instead of turning out the lights is an easy habit to get into.

    Wishing you well!
  • fittocycle
    fittocycle Posts: 821 Member
    I'm in the same boat with the extra pounds. I'm trying to move more in general around the house. And, as other have said, yoga is a great tool in managing stress. It sounds a little simplistic but it really does help!
  • Maxxitt
    Maxxitt Posts: 1,282 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I had tightness in my chest in July which I was 99% sure was stress and it did go away after I started 1-4 above. (I'd also had recent electrocardiograms and cardiac enzyme levels checked.) But then the tightness came back a month or so ago, so I reached out to my doctor and have an echo-cardiogram scheduled for tomorrow and a stress scheduled for next week.

    But the tightness went away after the president FINALLY signed the coronavirus relief bill - I'm an unemployed independent contractor and my unemployment benefits would have stopped without that billing becoming law.

    (The tightness usually came on after news stories. I never have any issues after exercise, which includes shoveling snow, snow shoeing, and walking that includes hills.)

    So now I'm back to thinking it's stress. I will do the ECHO but am not so sure about the stress test, especially as they want to do the nuclear stress test. I see that this is more accurate, but what I'm reading about it is stressing me out, and also according to this it doesn't even seem to be indicated for what I'm experiencing:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_stress_test#Function

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_stress_test#Contraindications_and_termination_conditions

    I went through that all, too including the nuclear stress test. That was actually quite useful in that it allows assessment both during the stress test itself and afterwards (I had a bit of A fib going on in the recovery portion, it turns out). Let 'em do it - then you will be 1) completely worked up diagnostically and 2) have a good point of comparison for any wonkiness moving forward. Working on the stress issue has been really key for me.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,697 Member
    Maxxitt wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I had tightness in my chest in July which I was 99% sure was stress and it did go away after I started 1-4 above. (I'd also had recent electrocardiograms and cardiac enzyme levels checked.) But then the tightness came back a month or so ago, so I reached out to my doctor and have an echo-cardiogram scheduled for tomorrow and a stress scheduled for next week.

    But the tightness went away after the president FINALLY signed the coronavirus relief bill - I'm an unemployed independent contractor and my unemployment benefits would have stopped without that billing becoming law.

    (The tightness usually came on after news stories. I never have any issues after exercise, which includes shoveling snow, snow shoeing, and walking that includes hills.)

    So now I'm back to thinking it's stress. I will do the ECHO but am not so sure about the stress test, especially as they want to do the nuclear stress test. I see that this is more accurate, but what I'm reading about it is stressing me out, and also according to this it doesn't even seem to be indicated for what I'm experiencing:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_stress_test#Function

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_stress_test#Contraindications_and_termination_conditions

    I went through that all, too including the nuclear stress test. That was actually quite useful in that it allows assessment both during the stress test itself and afterwards (I had a bit of A fib going on in the recovery portion, it turns out). Let 'em do it - then you will be 1) completely worked up diagnostically and 2) have a good point of comparison for any wonkiness moving forward. Working on the stress issue has been really key for me.

    @Maxxitt - keep talking, lol. What were your symptoms before they sent you for a stress test? Did you also have an ECHO?

    I'm with the VA and they tend to over-prescribe procedures in general. I know we should rule out cardiac issues, but if it's just stress I don't want to keep going in and out of Boston, which can be very stressful in and of itself.
  • scott_90345
    scott_90345 Posts: 17 Member
    I'd suggest to identify if there is an addiction you have for food. The best possible way is trying to leave the habit of overeating for one week, if you feel carvings of eating the food, then you might have addiction to food. To overcome this addiction you need identify the triggers, your seems the stress. If you manage to keep yourself away from binge eating for a specific time, then those carvings will fade soon.
  • Maxxitt
    Maxxitt Posts: 1,282 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Maxxitt wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I had tightness in my chest in July which I was 99% sure was stress and it did go away after I started 1-4 above. (I'd also had recent electrocardiograms and cardiac enzyme levels checked.) But then the tightness came back a month or so ago, so I reached out to my doctor and have an echo-cardiogram scheduled for tomorrow and a stress scheduled for next week.

    But the tightness went away after the president FINALLY signed the coronavirus relief bill - I'm an unemployed independent contractor and my unemployment benefits would have stopped without that billing becoming law.

    (The tightness usually came on after news stories. I never have any issues after exercise, which includes shoveling snow, snow shoeing, and walking that includes hills.)

    So now I'm back to thinking it's stress. I will do the ECHO but am not so sure about the stress test, especially as they want to do the nuclear stress test. I see that this is more accurate, but what I'm reading about it is stressing me out, and also according to this it doesn't even seem to be indicated for what I'm experiencing:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_stress_test#Function

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_stress_test#Contraindications_and_termination_conditions

    I went through that all, too including the nuclear stress test. That was actually quite useful in that it allows assessment both during the stress test itself and afterwards (I had a bit of A fib going on in the recovery portion, it turns out). Let 'em do it - then you will be 1) completely worked up diagnostically and 2) have a good point of comparison for any wonkiness moving forward. Working on the stress issue has been really key for me.

    @Maxxitt - keep talking, lol. What were your symptoms before they sent you for a stress test? Did you also have an ECHO?

    I'm with the VA and they tend to over-prescribe procedures in general. I know we should rule out cardiac issues, but if it's just stress I don't want to keep going in and out of Boston, which can be very stressful in and of itself.

    @kshama2001 Symptoms were some episodes of chest pain/tightness at odd times, sometimes during exertion and sometimes at rest and a bit of flutter every now and then. I had figured the first bunch of symptoms in March was stress, but then it started up again in the summer, and I was feeling pretty tired as well. Labs n stuff didn't point to much beyond hyperlipidemia and so went through the regular stress stress - had some pain there and some arrhythmia, then the nuclear one, followed by wearing a monitor for a few days which automatically sent info in. I had trouble with the leads staying stuck due to high humidity and sweating when I decided to go out biking and push it. But, upshot was main dx of bradycardia and no significant stuff otherwise. I get to go back to the cardiologist in a year. He looks like Wilford Brimley lol. Hope all is well. I know over-testing is an issue - curious to see what you ended up doing.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,697 Member
    Maxxitt wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Maxxitt wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I had tightness in my chest in July which I was 99% sure was stress and it did go away after I started 1-4 above. (I'd also had recent electrocardiograms and cardiac enzyme levels checked.) But then the tightness came back a month or so ago, so I reached out to my doctor and have an echo-cardiogram scheduled for tomorrow and a stress scheduled for next week.

    But the tightness went away after the president FINALLY signed the coronavirus relief bill - I'm an unemployed independent contractor and my unemployment benefits would have stopped without that billing becoming law.

    (The tightness usually came on after news stories. I never have any issues after exercise, which includes shoveling snow, snow shoeing, and walking that includes hills.)

    So now I'm back to thinking it's stress. I will do the ECHO but am not so sure about the stress test, especially as they want to do the nuclear stress test. I see that this is more accurate, but what I'm reading about it is stressing me out, and also according to this it doesn't even seem to be indicated for what I'm experiencing:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_stress_test#Function

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiac_stress_test#Contraindications_and_termination_conditions

    I went through that all, too including the nuclear stress test. That was actually quite useful in that it allows assessment both during the stress test itself and afterwards (I had a bit of A fib going on in the recovery portion, it turns out). Let 'em do it - then you will be 1) completely worked up diagnostically and 2) have a good point of comparison for any wonkiness moving forward. Working on the stress issue has been really key for me.

    @Maxxitt - keep talking, lol. What were your symptoms before they sent you for a stress test? Did you also have an ECHO?

    I'm with the VA and they tend to over-prescribe procedures in general. I know we should rule out cardiac issues, but if it's just stress I don't want to keep going in and out of Boston, which can be very stressful in and of itself.

    @kshama2001 Symptoms were some episodes of chest pain/tightness at odd times, sometimes during exertion and sometimes at rest and a bit of flutter every now and then. I had figured the first bunch of symptoms in March was stress, but then it started up again in the summer, and I was feeling pretty tired as well. Labs n stuff didn't point to much beyond hyperlipidemia and so went through the regular stress stress - had some pain there and some arrhythmia, then the nuclear one, followed by wearing a monitor for a few days which automatically sent info in. I had trouble with the leads staying stuck due to high humidity and sweating when I decided to go out biking and push it. But, upshot was main dx of bradycardia and no significant stuff otherwise. I get to go back to the cardiologist in a year. He looks like Wilford Brimley lol. Hope all is well. I know over-testing is an issue - curious to see what you ended up doing.

    @Maxxitt - thanks!

    I had the ECHO a week before the stress test was scheduled and it was identical to the one I had in 2017 so I passed on the stress test.

    (In 2017 I had the ECHO and wore a monitor for two weeks because I'd been having frequent palpitations. Afterwards, my primary thought the palpitations were caused by my being anemic then. They did go away when I got the anemia under control again.)
  • LisaGetsMoving
    LisaGetsMoving Posts: 667 Member
    2020 Stressors that I have ditched in 2021:
    - stepped away from the caffeine
    - turned off the news or limit it to skimming the headlines only
    - dropped Facebook and Twitter and toxic people who don't give a damn about me


  • 7rainbow
    7rainbow Posts: 161 Member
    Hey there,
    I totally get you. I've gained a bunch and I'm working on losing it myself. My advice is- start slow, and do what works for you. If you jump right into cutting your cals in half, doing exercise daily, going from 10 cookies a day to salads, you are likely to fail (at least that's my experience with fitness pal over the past years when I try for weight loss). Secondly, doing what works for you is sooooo important because that is what will help you lose in the long run. For example, I tried doing abs all the time and just quit again and again. Now, I have taken up some dancing and love it and have the motivation to do it. Does it burn as many calories? No. Do I have abs? No. But I would be giving up otherwise. The same can be said for food. As much as advice from people is handy, if you find it isn't working, don't feel like you need to stick to a certain routine. Change and adapt to what suits you best.