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Stress and weight gainBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/AN01128
- With Mayo Clinic oncologist
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.Edward Creagan, M.D.
"The magic of the electronic village is transforming health information. The mouse and keyboard have extended the stethoscope to the 500 million people now online." — Dr. Edward Creagan
The power of the medium inspires Dr. Edward Creagan as he searches for ways to share Mayo Clinic's vast resources with the general public.
Dr. Creagan, a Newark, N.J., native, is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice medicine and palliative care. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1973 and in 1999 was president of the staff of Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Creagan, a professor of medical oncology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, was honored in 1995 with the John and Roma Rouse Professor of Humanism in Medicine Award and in 1992 with the Distinguished Mayo Clinician Award, Mayo's highest recognition. He has been recognized with the American Cancer Society Professorship of Clinical Oncology.
He describes his areas of special interest as "wellness as a bio-psycho-social-spiritual-financial model" and fitness, mind-body connection, aging and burnout.
Dr. Creagan has been an associate medical editor with Mayo Clinic's health information websites and has edited publications and CD-ROMs and reviewed articles.
"We the team of (the website) provide reliable, easy-to-understand health and wellness information so that each of us can have productive, meaningful lives," he says.
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Stress and weight gain
How do I control stress-induced weight gain?
from Edward T. Creagan, M.D.
When you're under stress, you may find it harder to eat healthy. Also, during times of particularly high stress, you may eat in an attempt to fulfill emotional needs — sometimes called stress eating or emotional eating. And you may be especially likely to eat high-calorie foods during times of stress, even when you're not hungry.
To prevent weight gain during stress and reduce the risk of obesity, get a handle on your stress. When you feel less stressed and more in control of your life, you may find it easier to stick to healthy eating and exercise habits.
Try these stress management techniques to combat stress-related weight gain:
- Recognize the warning signs of stress, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension.
- Before eating, ask yourself why you're eating — are you truly hungry or do you feel stressed or anxious?
- If you're tempted to eat when you're not hungry, find a distraction.
- Don't skip meals, especially breakfast.
- Identify comfort foods and keep them out of your home or office.
- Keep a record of your behavior and eating habits so that you can look for patterns and connections — and then figure out how to overcome them.
- Learn problem-solving skills so that you can anticipate challenges and cope with setbacks.
- Practice relaxation skills, such as yoga, massage or meditation.
- Engage in regular physical activity or exercise.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Get encouragement from supportive friends and family.
If you try stress management techniques on your own but they don't seem to be working, consider seeking professional help through psychotherapy or counseling.Next question
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