How to Stress-Proof Your Diet When Caring for Someone With RA

Caring for someone with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) doesn’t have to cramp your healthy lifestyle. Kick stress to the curb—without the extra calories.

Stacey Feintuch
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Hide, but don’t seek. If you have unhealthy items in your house, keep them where you can’t see them. Put the cookies behind the cups in the cupboard, or hide your beloved chocolate ice cream behind the frozen yogurt in the freezer.

Reflect before you eat. Keep a food diary and read it! It’s the best way to learn from the entries that document what, how much and when you eat. Jot down how you’re feeling, too: bored, angry, fed up, just need chocolate, stomach’s growling, etc. You’ll become more conscious of your eating patterns and the food choices you make when you’re stressed. For example, if ice cream is your go-to indulgence when you’re tired, try subbing in nonfat frozen yogurt. If you haven’t tried it in a while, you might be surprised at how much you like the new varieties that have just 100 calories per ½ cup.

Still can’t tackle emotional eating? Visit a counselor or therapist to help you deal with your feelings. If time permits, visit a nutritionist, who can help you develop a plan to eat healthfully.

April 2013