(WYTV) – Holiday planning, pandemic stresses and missing family might be draining for some this year.
Experts say that can lead to eating-related issues.
“Food is a coping mechanism. Food helps us deal with stress, whether we are restricting our food or whether we are overeating,” said Michelle Cross, of the Eating Recovery Center.
Whether you’ve battled with weight issues in the past or not, holidays always bring an extra level of stress.
“Acknowledging the emotions and understanding they’re here, they’re present, they’re not going away by stuffing them down with the food,” said public speaker Susie Tucker.
Medical experts also warn that cases of acid reflux and heartburn are common this time of year. They say if you overeat, your body has ways of signaling that it’s time to slow down.
Symptoms include bloating, regurgitation of food and nausea.
“So weight clearly contributes to the pathogenesis of gastroesophagael reflux disease. Overeating does of the types of foods that we eat: friend foods, drinking carbonated beverages, overeating,” said Gastroenterologist Dr. Steve Carpenter.
Of course a healthy heart is always important but especially during the current pandemic.
Doctors say people with heart disease and other medical conditions appear to be at higher risk for more severe symptoms or complications if they contract COVID-19.
“For everyone, one of the best pieces of advice is follow your heart-healthy diet and follow a heart-healthy lifestyle. This means regular exercise, cardiovascular exercise, aerobic exercise and really watching what you eat and knowing what a heart-healthy diet is and using those things to help you mitigate your risk factors,” said Cardiologist Dr. Chris Haddad.
Researchers at George Washington University say you don’t have to hit the gym to become more physically active. Even small changes can make a big difference.
“Walking about, gardening, housework, walking a pet, climbing stairs, parking the car a little bit further away,” said Dr. Loretta DiPietro, professor of Exercise Science at George Washington University.
Above all, experts say knowing your risk factors and being in touch with your doctor is most important.