Comfort Cravings

How to soothe yourself without food—and how to eat healthfully and mindfully

Are You a Stress Eater? Try Stressipes!

Tips for taking care of yourself

My clients are often asking me how to cope with stress eating. I had the pleasure of speaking with Elisa Zied, dietitian and author of the new book, Younger Next Week. I loved her idea of “Stressipes.” I asked her to explain what they are and how they can be helpful to people who struggle with overeating when they are stressed out.

Dr. Albers: What are Stressipes?

Elisa Zied: Stressipes are remedies to help you overcome the impact of stress on food, fitness and lifestyle habits. Feeling stressed because of work or finances, relationships, caring for older/ill family members (older parents, young children), illnesses and disabilities etc. leads many to cope in less-than-healthy ways. Stressipes are designed to help people cope with stress in a positive, productive and proactive way that in turn will help them stress less and better handle/perceive stress.

Dr. Albers: Can you give us an example of one?

Elisa Zied: Here’s one of my favorite Stressipes from Younger Next Week:  Have Your Treat While You Eat

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If there’s a treat, such as chocolate or cookies, that you tend to overeat but would rather not give up (and why should you?), be sure to have it right after a meal or as part of a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack instead of by itself.  Having the meal or snack beforehand will likely fill you up and perhaps make you feel just as satisfied with a smaller portion than you might have otherwise.

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What will readers find in your new book?

Readers won’t find a restrictive or hard to follow eating and lifestyle plan based on the fad of the day. What they will find is a practical science-based plan that explains the rationale for the food and lifestyle recommendations made throughout the book.

After reading the book, my hope is that readers will be inspired to make time to care for and nourish themselves no matter how hectic or challenging life becomes. They’ll learn how to achieve the 7 Pillars of Vitality to look and feel better and reclaim or create a more vibrant life by eating well, fitting in regular daily physical activity and exercise, getting adequate rest, coping with stress in more healthful ways and connecting with others.

They’ll find sensible and realistic guidance to make food, fitness and lifestyle changes that are enjoyable and sustainable—and that will help them look and feel their absolute best. To help them apply the principles of the book, they’ll find my Vitality Program. They’ll also find a Vital Foods List and a Treat Chart, two weeks of menus (a one-week flexible menu plus another 7-day mix and match menu (and 30 tested recipes that bring the Vital Foods to life).

Thank you Elisa for sharing your great tips!

To learn more about comfort eating, take an Emotional Eating Quiz and download the Mindful Eating Pledge, go to http://www.eatq.com or "Like" us on http://www.facebook.com/eatdrinkmindful.

Dr. Susan Albers is a psychologist and author of six books on mindful eating including her latest, EatQ (HaperOne, 2013), Eating Mindfully and 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food. She is frequently quoted in Shape, Fitness, Self, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other publications. She was a guest on the Dr. Oz TV Show

Susan Albers, Psy.D., is a psychologist who specializes in eating issues, weight loss, body image concerns and mindfulness. 

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