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stress eating and weight gaining


Quantum Buckyball
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Err...

 

I'm not in grad school, but I can share my experience with undergrad.

 

I definitely gained the "Freshman 15" in my first year. Overall, in my first two years, I gained 35 pounds in my first two years.

 

Now I have the opposite problem. I lost everything I gained within a year (and maybe even more, I haven't weighed myself lately). I was originally a pretty skinny person and nothing that I'm doing is working for gaining weight. It's kind of scary.

 

Interesting how things turn around so quickly...

 

Then again, it's probably the change in meds that caused the gain and loss...

 

But yeah. I assume I'll lose weight in grad school, mainly because when I get stressed, I lose my appetite.

Sorry about your situation, though. I'm not too happy with my situation, either.

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Try eliminating snack-able foods from your shopping list. DH loves to get granola and protein bars but I can't eat them so instead we freeze bananas (peeled, stored in a bag) and blend them with maybe 1 T of crunchy peanut butter for a faux-soft serve if we really want to eat between meals. The extra effort (we're both incredibly lazy) means snacking less..

 

I've been put a restricted diet to identify some health issues and it cut out pretty much anything I would normally snack on; between the diet and adding 45 mn of medium to high-intensity cardio (doctor's orders) a day, I lost ~13% of my body weight since starting grad school. I now weigh what I did in middle school when I was juggling a couple of sports and working at a barn.

(note so no one worries, it's not unhealthy weight loss, I'm still at the top end of the ideal range for my height and frame and my doctor is carefully monitoring me :))

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I haven't started yet, - but I fully expect to gain weight.

 

If I'm under some stress, I will increase eating and gain weight. But if I'm really stressed, I will decrease eating and lose weight.

 

I have some pretty healthy eating habits now, I hope to continue them into grad school. Nevermind the 3 Cadbury creme eggs I just ate.

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I have gained about 10 lbs...and that is really troubling for a short person. The kicker is I don't eat that much and all my weight gain is going to my stomach! In my entire adult life....life, period...this is the last place I ever gain weight!!! 

 

It is very disturbing and I've been keeping a food log and exercise log. For all my monitoring - it could be belly fat from stress. 

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I'm an awkward December graduate, which left eight months of downtime between December and August where I'm mainly sedentary.  My full-time "job" is as my grandmother's caretaker (at home!!), and I have a part-time job in retail (only 5-10 hours per week, but at a good wage).  

 

That, coupled with the fact that I need to be on birth control, and active tabs ONLY at that (meaning I never skip a week; I never stop taking the pills), sets me up for a possible weight gain scenario ...

 

And, I love food ... I am usually a stress eater if my stress is rational, if that makes sense.  For example, if I'm stressing about conferences or the like, then I'll eat more.  If I'm stressing because of irrational thoughts in my head, then my appetite shuts down.  

 

And, I'm pretty sure I've gained some weight since December, maybe about 3-5 pounds.  My clothes still all fit, thankfully!!  I'm not used to gaining much weight since my metabolism has treated me well (except for when I was on a treatment when I was 19 that set my estrogen levels below that of the average 60-year old woman's estrogen levels), so I hate seeing the number creep up on the scale ...

 

I've been trying (TRYING) to eat healthier, and I have been going to the gym more often, thankfully!  

 

GOOD NEWS: The school I'm attending in the fall is on a freaking MOUNTAIN.  A current grad student told me my calves will be killer by the end of it!!  Pretty cool!!

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I gained a bunch of weight in grad school. Some of it was just from being more sedentary, some from getting older I think. I didn't have the time for most of grad school to work out for 2-3 hours a day, 4-5 days a week, which is what I did in high school. I found more time to work out later in grad school, especially one I realized how important it is for my sanity. But, I have a body type that makes it incredibly hard to lose weight so I focus more on how clothes fit, measurements, and basically how I look in the mirror.

 

Avoiding snacking is a nice idea but impractical for many. The trick is having healthy snacks on hand. Prepare snack bags of baby carrots and 1oz hummus at the beginning of the week to take as snacks with you to campus. Keep fresh fruit and nuts around to snack on. And, it's important enough to bear mentioning, remember to eat breakfast!

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I've only been in about 6 months, and yet to see any change in weight. 

 

I do feel the urge to snack more than I used to pre-grad school, especially while reading papers in the evening.   I definitely agree w/keeping fruits + veggies around for snacks.  Also, water and tea.

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I have gained about 10 lbs...and that is really troubling for a short person. The kicker is I don't eat that much and all my weight gain is going to my stomach! In my entire adult life....life, period...this is the last place I ever gain weight!!! 

 

It is very disturbing and I've been keeping a food log and exercise log. For all my monitoring - it could be belly fat from stress. 

 

Preach. I'm super short, & my hips are pretty wide relative to my frame, so.. you can guess where most of the 25 pounds I've gained in the last 5 years have gone. Blergh. To be fair, when I first entered college, I was nearly underweight (i.e., a pound or two away), & I didn't drink + was super athletically active in high school. Drinking & one sport took over, & I put on 10 pounds my first two years. I put on another 10 my junior year when I lived abroad & was completely sedentary. The other 5 were a slow creep after graduating.

 

That said, I've been returning to healthy eating & exercise recently -- living with my S.O. who loves pizza & beer made me lose all self-restraint.. whoops -- & I've noticed that the first 5 pounds have left my face & my stomach first. Hmm. I'm hoping to lose another 10-15 pounds; the number depends on what I feel the best at, I guess. I am definitely a stress eater with a horrible sweet tooth, but a pescatarian one at that who has a really hard time eating fatty & dairy-rich foods, so I guess it's self-limiting that way. If I don't literally write in exercising & cooking into my schedule, it's easy to let it all slip. I've noticed that switching from drinking a beer or two daily & eating greasy/lazy foods to fewer beers, clean + home-cooked food, & exercise has done my sleep schedule & appetite some noticeable good already. I'm not so sluggish in the mornings (even without coffee right away), & I feel more full with less food, & don't crave snacks as often. Hooray, fiber & nutrients!

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I definitely expect to lose weight in grad school. Part of it is the environment; I usually get to (and stay at) a healthy size during the summer, and I wanted this to be a regular part of my life, so I applied to places that are summer year-round.

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When you get to 25+ your metabolism starts to slow down, which means that you would probably gain some weight even if you weren't in a high-stress place grad school. 

 

I've not weighed myself since I started, though I suspect I'm losing weight because I skip meals or eat less when I'm stressed. (And also because my caffeine intake has skyrocketed!) As long as I don't have to buy new clothes, I'm fine.

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I feel more stressed out now waiting to hear from my final school than I think I ever felt in actual grad school.  My eating habits have been fluctuating between total binge on girl scout cookies and not eating for two days.  Not good, I know.  I'm turning into a great pumpkin.

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Drawing near the end of my MA at approx. 2 lbs lighter than when I started.  An impressive weight loss rate of 1lb a year!  If I can keep this up through the PhD, I'll be at my pre-university weight by the time I graduate.

 

In all honesty, though, I've lost and regained the same 10lbs several times over the past 2 years. I gain weight when depressed and lose it when stressed.  I'e experience my fair share of both.

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I definitely expect to lose weight in grad school. Part of it is the environment; I usually get to (and stay at) a healthy size during the summer, and I wanted this to be a regular part of my life, so I applied to places that are summer year-round.

LA is super-duper health conscious as well, you'll be able to find a work-out buddy in no time! LA is also very gym-centralized, not sure if you enjoy outdoor sports. If you enjoy outdoor exercising, there is beach volleyball (if you live in Culver City, you'll be right near the beach) and hiking (if you decide to live closer to the Santa Monica mountains). Pleasepleaseplease don't bike on city streets. Drivers are absolutely nuts and cyclists get hit a lot.

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LA is super-duper health conscious as well, you'll be able to find a work-out buddy in no time! LA is also very gym-centralized, not sure if you enjoy outdoor sports. If you enjoy outdoor exercising, there is beach volleyball (if you live in Culver City, you'll be right near the beach) and hiking (if you decide to live closer to the Santa Monica mountains). Pleasepleaseplease don't bike on city streets. Drivers are absolutely nuts and cyclists get hit a lot.

WHAT?

 

I thought cycling was safer in CA because so many people do it, it's impossible for the drivers to ignore.

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i go on cycles of weight-gaining and weight-losing depending on whether i'm on school or not. 

 

right now i'm up 15lbs from my original weight. mostly because more time in school = less time at the gym or eating healthy. for the kind of healthnuts that live in this city, the food here at the university is pretty bad (mostly just bread in its various varieties). i also need to give myself 'sugar shocks' (that's what i call the copious amounts of chocolate i eat) when it's past midnight and i'm just half-way done with my work.

 

but i know that once the summer begins and things wind down, i'll start sleeping more (apparently sleep deprivation also makes you fatter) and eating what my husband cooks (he is VERY health-conscious as an ex-athlete) so i'll go back to my usual weight.

 

problem though (and i think this is just tied to the fact that we're all getting older) is that there's always maybe one or two pounds that stay there and just don't go away. not too alarming (yet) but i don't wanna start buying new jeans :(

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I've been stress eating like crazy since my interviews. I've calmed down since finally getting accepted somewhere, but the waiting has given me too much nervous energy, and all I want is junk food.

 

Also, I sit at a desk all day, and don't move. I like to think that when I'm in school again and not working, I'll have more time during the day to go to the gym. I like reading on the ellipticals and stationary bikes, so I hope to get homework done that way, too.

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WHAT?

 

I thought cycling was safer in CA because so many people do it, it's impossible for the drivers to ignore.

Many parts of California, yes. Los Angeles, hell no.

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LA is super-duper health conscious as well, you'll be able to find a work-out buddy in no time! LA is also very gym-centralized, not sure if you enjoy outdoor sports. If you enjoy outdoor exercising, there is beach volleyball (if you live in Culver City, you'll be right near the beach) and hiking (if you decide to live closer to the Santa Monica mountains). Pleasepleaseplease don't bike on city streets. Drivers are absolutely nuts and cyclists get hit a lot.

Thanks for the heads-up!! I'm stoked to be surrounded by the health culture, and to get involved in the outdoor activities. I haven't done anything since summer!

EDIT: And I will be very wary when biking. Thanks for that warning! I just hope my SO stays safe. He insists that biking is never dangerous, and rolled his eyes when I told him about how it's different in LA...

Edited by PhDerp
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I've never been able to gain weight very easily (Asian genes), but if you start cooking for yourself at least 1 meal a day I find it helps to keep a balanced diet. When I'm too lazy to shop and cook I tend to eat a lot of fatty junk foods, but even if I put out a few hours over the weekend to make something as simple as a salad for the week, I find myself eating a lot healthier. For like $10-15 a week you can easily buy enough lettuce/spinach, carrots, celery, peppers, etc to put in a salad, and anything that I don't eat usually ends up in a stir fry at end of the week. 

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I'm of Asian descent, and my siblings and I have to vigilantly watch our weight because we gain weight quite easily. But then again we've never been thin ppl...although our parents are thin ppl.

 

Grad school has made it harder to eat a variety of food for me since this new place I'm in has a narrow selection of Asian food. :(

 

I use this app called MyFitnessPal and it's pretty useful, I use it to keep a log for everything I eat on a daily basis, except diet coke, gum, tea, black coffee, and water lol 

 

 I use that app too - trying to use it diligently. Certainly, offers insight into how many calories one is eating!

Edited by i.am.me
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I've had a lot of weight gains and losses since starting Uni. In undergrad I gained the freshman 30  - over that summer I lost it, maintained throughout the semester and lost some more when I did a study abroad. Came back from study abroad and gained some about half back. Stayed like that through graduation, moved to Europe lost 30-40 lbs. Came back from Europe, studied for GREs and applied to Grad School, gained 65 (2011). Started having some hip, leg and back problems so I got to the gym and have so far lost about 20lbs of that. I still go to the gym but I'm not losing much because I'm so sedentary and I'm not the one in control of the food budget/shopping. When I move to start my program in the fall I'll definitely be more active (setting up the new apt, meetings, new classes, etc.) and I know a lot more now about healthy eating, nutrition and portion control than I did when I was 18 so I'm feeling pretty good about the prospect of losing more weight. Plus the university has a gym so I won't have to pay for a membership anymore.  :D

 

Once I move I'm also committed to losing 80-100 lbs for the sake of my happiness, sanity and health. 

Edited by Varangian
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