This article examines how stress can contribute to weight gain and other undesirable conditions. Also provided are practical strategies you and your clients can employ when the urge to reach for the junk food is overpowering!
Not only does stress increase our appetites, but typically it also makes us crave foods that are caloric laden and contain few nutrients. Unfortunately, no definitive research has determined why stress-eaters make bad food choices or why they tend to gravitate toward certain types of food over others. As for myself, some stress-eaters desire high-energy foods containing sugar are chocolate, potato chips, popcorn, and crackers. You should NOT completely avoid these foods, but just to limit yourself and try to seek other alternatives or substitute with other nutritious food that will give the same response and a lot more healthier.
Seven Stress-Reducing Strategies
(Try these techniques contributed to overeating and implement this in your stress management weekly)
- Don't Worry, Be Happy -Instead of seeking comfort in food, engage in a pleasurable activity that pampers you. Do something fun that doesn't involve calories!
- Take a Nap
- Get a massage
- Visit a friend
- Read a book
- Watch an old movie
- Go dancing with a spouse or friend
3. Eat a Variety of Real Foods Throughout the Day - Because stress affects blood sugar, it is important to eat healthy meals throughout the day to maintain blood sugar levels. Stress-eaters tend to reach for sugary carbohydrates, so be sure to include the recommended amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat in each meal. A well-balanced breakfast that provides all three of these macro nutrients helps keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day, reducing the tendency to reach for a candy bar or soft drink. Keep in mind that food allergies may come in affect when the adrenal gland is exhuasted die to prolonged stress. So, you may have to seek the advice from a licensed nutrition professional if you are experiencing any reactions.
4.Get Physical - Moderate exercise can help reduce the body's production of cortisol during stressful times. Physical activity also has a calming effect on stressed individuals. Numerous studies have shown that moderate exercise helps modulate mood, reduce stress, improves self-efficacy and self-esteem, and reprograms the brain for optimism instead of pessimism. Maintain a consistent exercise program that combines aerobic and anaerobic training. Don't overdo it! Taking your frustration out during an intensive workout with further increase cortisol production.
5. Avoid Dieting - Don't try to deprive yourself of any food group! Instead, choose a well-balanced, natural foods diet, which will provide the structural components for protein synthesis and supply adequate energy.
6. Get Plenty of Rest - Sleep deprivation affects blood sugar levels, reduces the production of human growth hormone, increases the secretion of cortisol and reduces the production of leptin (a hormone that signals satiety). Rest is restorative to the body, especially the nervous system. By the way who wouldn't want to go to sleep when times are rough!