Eating your through stressful times?
We do it; then we hate ourselves for it. STRESS EATING!! I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too! Life can get hairy and for many of us the answer lies in comfort food. A giant bag of chips? A box of cookies, maybe a couple king sized chocolate bars? Of course once it happens and we realize it happens; we add to the stress by being upset about the calories.
So what can we DO about it? Let’s cut it off before it happens!
Imagine yourself as a 2 year old on the verge of a temper tantrum. Not quite there yet but as a parent you can see it coming. My first reaction was always some form of distraction! A favorite toy, a little tickle, a giant hug, pointing at something that doesn’t exist, a story with them as the star… You get the idea! Well, stress eating is our grownup way of throwing a tantrum. So distract yourself! What works for you? My perfect calming point is getting up and making a full pot of tea. A pot requires the kettle to be rinsed filled and put on, a pot to be found and tea to be steeped to perfection. This takes at least 15 minutes from start to finish. Usually by the time the kettle boils I am calm enough to not want anything, then at least the tea is a nice comforting drink as I examine why I was so stressed in the first place. Which leads us to our next point
Practicing mindfulness each day will help to see the stress before it comes on full force at which point we are all of a sudden eating something we don’t even want. This is challenging and if you are under a great deal of stress to begin with getting mindful right now is only going to frustrate you further. So in the meantime take 5 to 10 deep cleansing breaths and ask yourself
“Where did this come from”?
“Am I actually hungry”?
“What do I need in this moment”?
If you decide it is food (there is no guilt in this) then practice a bit of mindful eating. Take your snack to a quiet place and enjoy it. An appropriate serving size for the moment (snack or meal). Once complete go back and examine the stressor in order to find a solution that will help to keep the stress levels lower.
Distracted, mindful and still craving some yummy tidbits to helps beat that stress?
Stress is both a physiological and mental reaction within the body. Which causes us to use up particular nutrients in larger amounts than we normally would under more positive conditions.
B Vitamins (folate and B6), vitamin C, Magnesium and omegas are some key nutrients.
Good snack and meal options for nutritional support through stressful times include:
Nuts – a good source of healthy fats, minerals and protein
Salmon – Omega 3 is an important EFA as it is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin helps the body calm down.
Dark greens – vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Red peppers – vitamin C!
Basically eat your vegies, get some rest and tune-in not out to help keep stress eating at bay. Below are some links to more information about this topic. Let me know what you think! I love comments! Have a question you want answered or a topic you want to read more about? Send me an email!