RALEIGH, N.C. — Whatever we like to do to cheer ourselves up and make ourselves feel better, we seem to be doing more of it since the terrorist attacks. It may be watching more old movies, spending time with family or splurging on a really good bottle of wine, but many experts say that eating our favorite comfort foods tops the list.
Weight Watchers International reports an unusual number of members who have gained weight since Sept. 11. It seems that people are reaching for ice cream, fried chicken, cakes, pies, and cookies to cope, which may not necessarily be a bad thing.
However, overindulging on these rich, gooey, gravy-laden foods will quickly pack on the pounds.
Extra pounds certainly are not good for your health and only increase our guilt. If this description sounds familiar, take heart. There are a few things you can do to get a grip on your situation.
If you are eating for emotional reasons, do something about it.
Write a list of non-food activities that give you pleasure, like a long bubble bath, reading, going to a movie or a visit to a museum. When you are tempted to eat, pull out the list and choose another activity.
If you are spending a lot of time at home, keep yourself busy and stay out of the kitchen.
If you are tempted to eat and you are not hungry, tackle some of those household chores that need attention: clean out a closet, rearrange a room or tackle that pile of magazines in the corner of the room.
Last, certainly not least, be sure to exercise.
Take time for a brisk walk or get involved in an organized exercise program. Not only will you feel better, you will keep the pounds away and you will take the edge off the stress you may be feeling.