Five pounds, six pounds, seven pounds, it seems to just creep up on me. I think I have lost 100 lbs. The same 10 lbs over and over for the last 10 years.
Are You A Stress Eater?
- Do you find yourself hunting in the cabinets for food when others around you are angry or frustrated?
- If you have to do something like make a phone call or meet a new client, but you need a cookie first–does this sound familiar?
- Do you go to work, see the candy bowl or the donuts a kind soul brought to the break room and choose not to eat them until anxiety about an event or a tough situation happens?
- Or, does just thinking about all the chores that are building up, the errands you have to run and the social demands make you run to the nearest Starbucks for an Iced Chocolate Mocha heavy on the whipped cream with a chocolate croissant on the side?
Let’s face it, many of us, myself included, would rather “eat” our strong emotions than deal with them. Eating grounds you, makes you feel full with a happy and false sense of love. Unfortunately, stress eating only stuffs or delays our abilities to respond constructively to the issues that are causing stress in the first place. For more on ways to manage your stressful feelings click here.
Does Change Trigger Stress Eating for You?
Right now in the Joyous Family, we are leaving a well-paid job to strike out in our own in business. I am already up 5 lbs despite lots of exercise. This week’s podcast gives you a clue on how we are coping and not managing our stress.
Talk about stress! A big life change can send you back to a lot of old coping habits– like stress eating. If the extra pounds are not enough, stress eating can lead to many other health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Not to mention, stress eating can also take a toll on your thoughts and behavior. When life gets hectic and we’re feeling stressed, we tend to put healthy eating on the back burner.
But heading to the vending machine or grabbing a meal at the drive-thru won’t alleviate the stress in your day. (I so wish it did!)
To combat stress levels, take a look at what you eat. It may actually help relieve your tension. In fact, certain foods can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and your emotional response to stress.
Here are 5 foods you can eat to reduce stress.
When we’re stressed, our blood pressure can become elevated. A study* published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet which includes whole grains such as oats can lower blood pressure. Tip: Oatmeal in a jar is a great way to keep a healthy meal or snack available at any time.
Researchers have found eating blueberries can increase the count of a specific white blood cell that boosts immunity. Having a healthy immune system can help counter stress.
Tip: Try adding blueberries to your oatmeal or yogurt in the morning.
3. Flax Seeds
This superfood is an excellent source of magnesium which may help regulate emotions, alleviate depression, combat fatigue and minimize irritability. Magnesium can also help fight PMS!
Tip: Try adding a teaspoon of flax seeds to your next smoothie.
4. Dark Chocolate
Studies have shown that regularly eating dark chocolate can reduce the stress hormones in your body including cortisol and catecholamines (aka fight or flight hormones). It can also ease emotional stress. That’s great news for all you chocoholics!
Tip: Stick with the kind that contains at least 70% cocoa and keep it to just a bite or two and not the whole bar.
These kidney-shaped nuts are a good source of zinc which is a critical mineral that can help reduce anxiety symptoms such as irritability and lack of focus. Their portable nature makes them an ideal snack to keep in your purse for when you’re on the go.
Tip: You can easily find ready-made single-serve packs at your grocery store or buy in bulk and make your own bags. Toss a couple in your purse on your way out the door. Adding these 5 foods into your diet can help you relieve stress and help with your health and well-being.
Which one will you try? What food do you turn to in times of stress? Share it with us in the comments.