by Jane McIntosh, MA, CSN
Chronic stress consumes today’s lifestyles and can affect your eating habits and weight.
When stress creeps in forcing food as relief, we typically reach for high fat, sugary foods which can lead to consuming more calories or more fat than our recommended diet allows.
When you experience stress, your brain signals your body to produce cortisol, the stress hormone which eventually begins to compromise digestion. Our physical and emotional well-being are affected by stress and 75% of the time over eating is linked to this emotion.
Stress is inevitable, but here are a few way to manage stress instead of reaching for your favorite sweet.
Take it out on a piece of paper. Journal frustrating thoughts, feelings and experiences that create stress. When you reach for food to curb stress and find yourself overeating, track the emotional triggers so it can be prevented next time.
Plan ahead. Write down three alternate activities instead of reaching for chips in a stressful moment. Try taking a long shower or bath, going for a walk or drinking water or tea.
Stock up on healthy foods. When you simply need food to manage your stress, choose healthy options by stocking up on fruits, vegetables, nuts and low fat dairy.
Sources: Emotional Eating and Weight Loss–WebMD
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