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Stress

8/17 8:54:39

Question
My husband has been out of work for 8 months going on 9 months now.  I have an active job.  I work in a store, and I walk around a lot as well as stocking, sometimes even moving heavy boxes.  I also exercise an hour a day.  In the past 2 months or so I have gained about 3 or 4 pounds without altering my diet or exercise.  I'm beginning to think that it's stress related.  I already exercise, and it's not realistic to think that the stress is going to go away.  Is there anything else that I can do about this so that I won't gain any more?  I'm 29, 5'0", and 108 pounds.

Answer
Hi Sarah,
I'm sorry to hear of the stressful situation going on in your household. It's not likely that stress itself could cause weight gain, or even alter your metabolism. Sometimes, though, people eat more when they are stressed. If you don't believe your diet has changed at all, it might be helpful to keep a food diary to record exactly what you're eating. Is there a chance you both are eating more comfort foods? That you are joining your husband when he sits down for a snack to keep him company? Or that you are eating different foods now to save on expenses (more fast foods?)
Are there times you've skipped your exercise routine to do something else with your husband? Have his weight and eating habits changed?
There can be very subtle differences that account for 2 pounds a month--it can happen by eating just 200 more calories a day.
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