Stress Eater Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

Background

The Stress Eater Diet is promoted as a ‘simple guide for women who want to stress less, lose more and look fabulous’. Robert Posner M.D, a weight loss researcher and developer of the Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Program, and Linda Hlivka who is the nutritionist for the program are the authors of the book. The authors state that 82% of women eat in response to stress and claim that their program will help dieters to determine their stress triggers, cope better with stress as well as to increase metabolism.

The Stress Eater Diet Basics

The Stress Eater Diet combines four elements:stress-eater-diet

  1. Nutrition
  2. Stress relieving exercise
  3. Calming techniques
  4. Serotonin boosting foods

The nutrition aspect is based on the program that is used in the Serotonin-Plus Weight Loss Centers in Washington DC. The authors explain how serotonin is involved in emotional eating and emphasize serotonin boosting foods because they can help to elevate mood and reduce stress. The book includes a four-week meal plan that transitions from a low carbohydrate diet to a more moderate intake of carbohydrates. Dieters are advised to eat a high protein breakfast every day and to consume small amounts of food frequently throughout the day because this will boost metabolism and reduce cravings.

For the first week of  Stress Eater, dieters can eat protein, vegetables, salads, dairy foods,  and one serve of fruit per day. In week two dieters add one serving of a carbohydrate food or an extra serve of fruit. In weeks three and four dieters are permitted one more carbohydrate serving. Calming techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and listening to soothing music are recommended to reduce the levels of stress. Another important part of the plan is behavior modification where dieters use positive thinking to create the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Dieters are also advised to keep a journal of what they are eating as well as any triggers that are associated with emotional eating.

Recommended Foods

Foods containing omega 3 fatty acids such as walnuts, ground flax seeds, salmon, halibut, shrimp, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans. Foods that increase serotonin such as red meat, turkey, chicken, fish, cottage cheese, wheat germ, bananas, and nuts. Foods high in specific vitamins and minerals such as green leafy vegetables, lentils, sweet potatoes, broccoli, yogurt, tuna, mushrooms, eggs, oysters, avocado, liver, and whole grains.

Sample Diet Plan

Breakfast

2 Tablespoons peanut butter ½ cup celery ¼ cup cottage cheese 15 grapes 1 cup skim milk Coffee or tea

Morning Snack

1 cup yogurt

Lunch

6 oz flank steak 2 cups sauerkraut

Afternoon Snack

Sugar free jello

Dinner

7 oz turkey 1 cup cooked beets ½ cup yellow beans

Find other healthy meal ideas here.

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is recommended in The Stress Eater Diet because it helps to reduce anxiety and depression and because it decreases the level of stress hormones in the body, which could be the cause of an increase in abdominal fat. For those wishing to lose weight exercise can help to increase calorie burning and lean muscle mass, which results in a boost to the metabolism.

Dieters can incorporate these exercises into the Stress Eater Diet.

Costs and Expenses

The Stress Eater Diet retails at $14.00.

Pros

  • Explains how stress can negatively affect health and weight control.
  • Benefits dieters who are prone to stress eating.
  • Advises dieters how to tell the difference between physical and emotional hunger.
  • Helps dieters determine the root cause of their stress.
  • Includes many tips to help dieters deal with stress effectively.
  • Provides instructions for deep breathing and meditation.
  • Journaling is associated with a greater chance of successful weight loss.
  • Eating protein for breakfast will reduce appetite and cravings later in the day.
  • Includes a four-week meal plan.
  • Supported by scientific research.

Cons

  • Will not apply to dieters who are not stress eaters.
  • Program appears to be lacking in a clear structure.
  • Recommends some foods that contain artificial sweeteners.
  • Not much variety in the meal plan.
  • Does not include recipes.

Conclusions

The Stress Eater Diet effectively outlines the relationship between stress and emotional eating and the possible negative consequences of stress on health and weight management. The book is packed with tips for dealing with stress more effectively and dieters who overeat in response to stress, both men and women, will probably find that they are able to lose weight on the Stress Eater Diet.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: August 10, 2010. Disclaimer