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food addiction

Stress And Weight Gain: How Money And Fat Loss Are Connected As The Top Cause Of Excess Stress

Every day life can be very stressful.  Stress can come from so many variables that it can be tough to handle it all.  If stress is not handled properly, it can lead to weight gain, disease, depression, and all out emotional break downs.  Unresolved stress can also be damaging because it has a building block effect. One or two problems can lay a foundation for other minor issues to build upon.  The next thing you know, you have built an entire city of stress from just two bricks.  I have found that the two most powerful and negative bricks that lay the groundwork for stress and weight gain is money and… ironically, excess body fat.

Money And Fat Loss Stress And Weight Gain: How Money And Fat Loss Are Connected As The Top Cause Of Excess Stress(Beautiful New York City skyline)

The Evil Combination Of “Less And More”

Food and money may seem like two separate entities in life, but you would be surprised how involved they really are.  It is almost like a trap that you can’t seem to escape from.  This trap comes in the form of a simple concept. It takes money to buy food!  Wow, someone better call “Ripley’s.”  Food is a necessity just like shelter, but the trap comes in the form of something a little different.  We stress over not having enough money and complain about having too much body fat.  Having less money with more fat….when is it going to end?

Poor But Obese

In America you are given options and tools to try and eat healthier, but health foods almost always cost more.  People have no problem spending extra money on healthy items, but never consider eating less.  We spend huge amounts of money in the fitness industries through weight loss programs, diet books, trainers, health clubs, with the intentions of losing fat. They have all adopted “healthy” eating plans that are either very detailed or extremely complex…but we still can’t seem to eat less. It’s a circular trap, and we wonder where all our money went!  I hope you can see how the bricks are forming through the stress of money and fat.

We Hate Excess Fat But Are Paying Hefty Premiums To Keep It

Excess body fat is nothing more than a result of overconsumption and emotional eating.  It doesn’t matter if it is all from “health” foods or not.  Too much body fat is indicative of overspending and overeating on food. Remember, somebody is profiting from this vicious cycle.  The food industry is a multibillion dollar industry, and they are profiting from your stressful eating habits. If you have too much fat, you are paying too much money…which causes more stress and weight gain.

What Would You Do With A Few Thousand Dollars

Let’s take a moment and evaluate an average Americans work week in regards to food.  When lunch time rolls around, it is not uncommon for people to go out and spend 10-12 dollars for their meal.  To take it a bit further, it is also not uncommon for people to do this every day for every lunch.  If you take 10-12 dollars and multiply that by 5 days a week for a whole year….that is 2,600-3,120 dollars spent on just lunch. If you skipped lunch even once or twice a week, you would save quite a bit of money and even prevent more body fat.  Saving thousands of dollars over the years that are not spent on something that will contribute to more and more fat can be a very liberating feeling.

Eliminate The Stress Of Money And Fat With A Two-Edged Sword

You would be amazed how quickly you can reverse the equation by taking the issues head on.  Let’s first start by understanding the amazing financial advantage by learning how to eat less.  If you are not spending your money on the very thing that is contributing to your weight gain, money increases.  While more and more money is added to your pockets, losing weight comes along with it.  Now the equation has flipped in your favor.  Excess stress and weight gain is minimized so therefore the worries of money has been alleviated while your waistline is getting slimmer.  This can cause more self confidence and motivation to stick with it and not look back.  You no longer live to eat, but eat to live.  Now you are in a much better position to address the minor stresses in your life since the “The Big 2” have been slain.

I’m Addicted To Food And Why Can’t I Stop Eating:Why Friends Can Negatively Influence Fat Loss

Think for a moment when you have been in a position where you are dining with  friends and this scenario arises.  You are sitting in a restaurant and have already made a conscious decision in choosing a meal that won’t rack up a whole days worth of calories in one sitting.  You open the menu and find yourself salivating over the picture of a triple-decker cheeseburger with endless garlic fries and soda.  The battle of the mind begins.

i cant stop eating Im Addicted To Food And Why Cant I Stop Eating:Why Friends Can Negatively Influence Fat Loss

You have been doing a great job with intermittent fasting,  strength training, HIIT cardio,  and have all been kicking your butt.  You have been seeing amazing results from week to week and want to continue into the next week on a positive note…..so you decide eating a meal on the lighter side.  In your mind it’s a done deal and you feel good about it.  But before you open your mouth, all your friends have blurted out their orders of an appetizer the size of a spare tire, a triple-decker cheeseburger, and the two foot brownie sundae for dessert.  While handing the menus to the waiter they turn in your direction, anxiously awaiting a decision.  Without even thinking about it, your initial decision turns to “I’ll have what they are having,” followed with a little bit of remorse of “why can’t I stop eating.”

Is There A Reason Why I’m Addicted To Food? Why Pals Shape One Another’s Health Behaviors

Do you remember junior high lectures about how strong peer pressure can be?  Of course most of the topics were in directed towards more serious things like sex outside of marriage, alcoholism, drugs, tobacco, etc.  If your friends are dabbling or diving into these acts of behaviors, typically your behaviors will model it. Research has found that areas like these are considered socially contagious behaviors(it is thought that food addicts grab hold of these habits). So contagious that evens a small group of friends that decide to get a flu shot(despite how harmful and ineffective they are) make big impacts on others deciding to get one even though they never planned to in the first place.

So What Does This Have To Do With Diet?

As you can see, your friends’ health decisions have a weird way of influencing us.  Sometimes without even knowing it!  I like to call it “The (Sundae) Ripple Effect.”  Having a close friend who’s packing on the pounds left and right can make you almost 60% more likely to do the same.  Research shows that how much you weigh directly correlates on who you hang out with.  James Fowler,Ph.D and Nicholas Christakis,M.D. both studied social networks for about ten years and have found that “consciously or unconsciously, people look to others when deciding what and how much to eat, and how much weight is too much.” What they mean by this is best described in the previous scenario in the restaurant.  You had your mind made up about what you were NOT going to order and had no desire to even glance at the dessert menu.  That all changed when everyone else ordered the colossal dinner package.

We May Seek Relationships That Influence to Indulge

I am going to come out and say it….women are the worst culprits when it comes to this.  Some of you ladies may be laughing because you know it’s true.  Not every day do you hear about a guy calling up a buddy asking him to come over so they can eat out of the same carton of ice cream because he had a crummy day at work.  Women are notorious for this.  Many women have “junk food and I can’t stop eating friends” that they call up on any given time of the day to say “I had a terrible day, do you want to come over and fry up some cheese sticks and polish off a package of Oreo’s.  That would make me feel a lot better.” 

Being A Copycat Is Not Always A Bad Thing

On the reverse side of the issue, research has also shown that you can pick up “good” habits from friends.  If your group happens to be eating just an appetizer as their meal, do you want to be the one who strolls in and orders a six course feast?  Most people will want to behave appropriately to leave a good impression on those around them.  This is also the case when friends start eating right, eating less, stop eating junk food, and weight train consistently, can rub off on you and positively impact you to do the same. Of course women typically will take this idea to the next level.  If there is competition between two women, whether it is over a man, school, work, fitness, etc-they use “under eating” as a weapon.  When women compete to gain an edge, they will most likely choose a smaller or lighter meal than their rival.  It is a weird way of showing the other person that they are winning.  Researchers have also found that even  if a women hasn’t ate anything after a couple days, will still eat as much or even less than their competitor.

Friends Can Also Try To Sabotage Each Other

Let’s say you have been away from the gym for years and your diet has fallen by the wayside.  You decide to take positive action by getting your butt in gear by working out and getting your diet in control.  Friends might come along and pressure you into skipping your workouts or influencing you to order the cheese fries over your original decision of a salad. The reason for this…….they don’t want to be reminded of their own struggles with weight by watching a healthy eater make careful choices” says Susan Bowerman of UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition. “We want them to join our ‘Im addicted to food’ club.”

I Am Not Saying Your Friends Are Evil

I wanted to make a clear point that I am not here to tell you to go and find different friends.  The whole point of this article is to make you aware of your surroundings and how friends can influence your fat loss goals.  You can still be in charge of your fat loss despite what your friends are doing and saying. Being able to recognize the negative influence can give you the leg-up on how to handle these obstacles head on and turn them into something positive.  This will help you battle against the “why cant I stop eating” syndrome.Like I said before, your friends may not even know they are doing it.  That is the point.  You never know, your good habits may end up being the positive influence on your friends to get fit.