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Stress, Intermittent Fasting, and carbs...oh my!

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  • Stress, Intermittent Fasting, and carbs...oh my!

    Hi all,

    Just curious about something. I have been very very stressed the past few days, and I'm wondering if my stalled weight loss and cravings are a result of that. Everything I'm reading says yes, but I want to make sure and you guys are smart about this stuff.

    All of last week I wasn't hungry so I figured why stuff food in my face when my body wasn't asking for it so I started to IF. I'd eat lunch every day (chicken with a vegetable-mostly kale) and that would be it. I wasn't hungry when I woke up and I was slightly hungry prior to lunch, like an hour before and that's about it.

    I started having issues at work and then all of a sudden I started feeling hungry again. I woke up ravenous Monday morning, by lunch time I was salivating, and I also started craving again. Just today I wanted Taco Bell. I NEVER eat Taco Bell, even when I wasn't paleo. I'd only have it when I was in serious "about to kill innocent by-standers PMS psycho mode", and that's once every 3 months. So I figured, it has to be me wanting a carb of some sort, so I came home and ate half a steak, 1/2 cup onions (I love onions), 1/2 cup sweet potato and green beans. I feel better after that.

    So I'm curious of 2 things:
    1. Did the stress cause this? The only thing that changed was my job issues, which were major, and I had no problems with IF that whole time, unless a full week of doing that was too much and...

    2. Did me eating some sweet potatos (and yams the previous night) ruin anything? I'm scared that if I add any carbs at all it'll ruin what I did. I had potatos before on a whim (baked) but nothing came of it, so I'm kind of scared that I messed up and have to start all over and go through that dreaded carb flu all over again.

  • #2
    You were hungry after eating rabbit food, so you are now not hungry after the substantial food. Therefore: eat more.
    My chocolatey Primal journey

    Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog


    • #3
      Each individuals response to stress is different. Some people get cravings for "comfort OR crap food", and others just go the opposite direction and forget to eat all together.

      I'd say you did it didn't give into the taco bell crave, but instead went home and made yourself a good meal that included (in your context) a bit of a treat! No worries. You didn't ruin anything at all. Stressful times are when you test your metal. And you did just fine. Once you learn to deal with stress in a healthful manner on a regular basis it will become second nature. Keep up the good work!


      • #4
        I find a little bit of proactivity gets me very far when, say I've had a stressful week and I've been keeping up with sprints and such. If I haven't allowed myself a sweet potato here and there, when the weekend comes and my husband orders Dominoes, I might not be able to resist temptation. But if I have been mindful to keep my carbs moderate, I am not tempted in the least... Even under stress. And yes, for me stress = give me sugar now or bad things will happen.
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        Pre-preg weight: 130
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        • #5
          You were eating very little for a few days and eventually got hungry. You ate well when that happened ignoring junk food curtain call. You did the right thing. Eat when you are hungry next time making the same great choices.
          My Journal:
          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


          • #6
            Yeah, yeah, some of it is likely due to not eating a lot and getting hungry. But stress IS known to increase cortisol, which does raise your blood sugar and that can cause a low blood sugar rebound effect. I know I am a stress eater. I try to stop, realize that I am wanting food for comfort (to alleviate stress) and because of a physiological reaction. I feed the latter by eating a little more of the good food I'm supposed to. Which is exactly what you did. Good job!


            • #7
              I skip about 5 or 6 meals per week, usually breakfast. If I am stressed, recovering from injury or illness, etc. I immediately blow off the fasting. IF is supposed to be a controlled amount of stress to the system. I wouldn't compound it if I were you.


              • #8
                Thanks guys. I have been making myself not stress out, and eating twice a day (which seems to be the best for me, I just don't get hungry until lunch time) and it's working very well. I got my energy back even, and I was feeling quite tired a lot during my IF. I just am at the stage where things are working and I don't want to mess up anything