We all know that chronic stress is the enemy of weight loss: on top of the sleep loss and the comfort-food cravings, there’s the litany of hormonal and metabolic damage that comes with chronically high cortisol levels. But what happens when healthy eating itself is the cause of the stress? This week, take a look at some different perspectives on stress management, weight loss, and healthy living:
- Is low-calorie dieting dangerous? If your method of weight loss is itself a form of chronic stress, it probably won’t take you very far. Kevin Cann addresses how incredibly stressful extreme calorie-cutting is to your body: just say no to the 1200-calorie nonsense!
- One of the major sources of stress in any attempt to eat well is worrying about foods we’re afraid of: whether it’s gluten, sugar, or cholesterol, everyone’s got something to worry about. If that sounds like you, you might want to read Michael Ruhlman’s healthy dose of sanity on the topic of salt: the crazy panic over demonizing one particular food or nutrient often has less scientific backing than you’d think. It’s time to admit what we don’t know, and stop trying to pretend that we have all the answers.
- The Paleo Drummer posts his own story about how stress can radically change digestion: it’s one thing to know this from studies about gut flora, but it’s entirely another to read about it happening in the real world.
Avoid foods that make you ill without going down the rabbit hole of calorie restriction and demonizing nutrients is always a balancing act. Nobody can do it perfectly all the time. But if trying to be healthy is getting a little bit too nerve-frying, it might be time to step back and re-evaluate whether you’re causing yourself unnecessary stress.
All done with the stress talk? Take a deep breath, make a nice cup of tea, and check out what else has been going on this week.
- Dr. Sharma notes that shame and blame have no role in addressing obesity: cruelty can never make someone healthier, and it’s well past time we all got over our need to judge each other for body size.
- Turn on your inner nutrition geek with this list of 7 things you didn’t know your gut flora could do from Mark’s Daily Apple.
- Calories Proper reports on a trial comparing the American Diabetes Association recommended diet to a low-carb ketogenic diet: guess which one came out on top for treating diabetics?
- Trying to gain some weight without resorting to a pasta-fest every evening? The Whole9 team has some tips: Weight Gain 101 covers what you put in your mouth, and Weight Gain 201 goes over all the non-food issues that might be holding back those biceps.
- Chris Kresser asks whether there’s any room for sweeteners in a healthy diet.