By CHESHIRE QUE, RND, RN, RD
Emotional or stress eating can lead to various health implications. While stress cannot be totally avoided, learning and developing coping skills can help prevent you from turning to food for comfort.
Living a fast-paced lifestyle contributes to stress eating. Being mindful about the way you eat will surely keep the unwanted pounds away even in the most stressful times of your life.
Always carry a water bottle with you. Take sips or even gulps throughout the day to keep the cravings away.
The brain also mistakes thirst for hunger. So the next time you feel the urge to grab on to something sweet or salty, take a sip of water and wait a few minutes to check if you are truly physically hungry in the tummy.
After all, you might just be thirsty. Adding lemon to water adds more flavor and potassium, which is good at keeping blood pressure at bay. A tablespoon of chia seeds provides that heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acid.
Eat fresh produce
We are often hungry because we do not consume enough roughage or fiber in our diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables must be made readily available. Take time to visit the market or grocery to purchase your weekly supply. Take fresh fruits with you for snacks. Practice quick cooking of vegetables at home and add them to common entrée or buy precut vegetables for a refreshing salad for breakfast and dinner at home. Be creative in adding fruits and veggies to your meals. For example, grate a carrot and add it to your pasta sauce, make a smoothie out of fruits and vegetables in the morning or when you get home after work to get your daily dose of phytonutrients and fiber.
Have an emergency stash
There are just days you can’t help but munch on something when you are upset, right? Instead of grabbing a tub of ice cream or a huge bag of chips, have some healthy and yummy stash in handy. Look for treats that have less than five grams of sugar and less than 30 percent calories from fat per serving. Dried fruits and
dehydrated vegetables with some roasted nuts are good options. Dark chocolate helps release serotonin, a “feel good” hormone. Remember
that portion control is key.
Detox digitally during meals
At the end of a stressful day at work, we have a bigger appetite not because we lacked calorie intake during the day, but because we did not get to achieve a genuine dining experience. We can’t even remember what we had for lunch while answering emails or browsing the internet. On a busy day, put away your gadgets even just for 10 minutes and focus on chewing and savoring your food. This will enhance your satiety and prevent food cravings. The temporary digital detox will not only nourish your body but also help you regain composure, ready to face whatever task you need to take on before the day ends.
Schedule your snooze
Getting quality sleep is vital to controlling stress eating. When the body lacks sleep, the Ghrelin hormone increases, stimulating the body to crave for sweets among women and food in general for men. Practice sleep hygiene by having a downtime one hour before bedtime (take a warm shower and wear comfortable clothing), digital detox, do some breathing exercises, and pray or meditate in a room that is dark, quiet, and cool.
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