Beat Stress with Food
Food and Mood
Diet and nutrition have an important effect on mood according to several experts. Like the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon or in fish oil supplements, can perk up your mood. Experts say that eating a balanced diet can make you feel healthy, fit, and attractive. All this can help to improve your mood, self-esteem, and confidence, where as if you feel unhealthy or ill it can worsen your negative self-perception and depression.
Is Stress Causing Your Weight Gain?
Do you gorge on chips or cookies when you are stressed out? Many people tend to overeat when they are stressed out. For them eating a favorite food acts as a stress buster. Eating gives the feelings of power, control and satisfaction---factors that comfort in stressful situations.
But it can lead to excessive weight gain. Excessive weight gain in turn can affect your mood, self-esteem, and confidence—lead to negative self-perception and depression. This becomes a vicious cycle of overeating,---weight gain---further depression and so on…..
Beating Stress With Nutrition
Eating is not wrong when you are stressed. Moderation or control is needed to balance out eating, weight gain and stress. Eat a balanced and healthy diet. It is an important step for beating stress as with correct nutrition; your body is better prepared to face the challenges and problems that has become a part of most of our daily lives.
But you should eat sensibly to reduce the effects of stress and keep yourself healthy.
A few Steps to avoid mindless Eating
- Be conscious about the portion sizes---as the amount of food you eat counts, and not what it looks like.
- Use smaller plates and bowls to eat—as many people tend to overeat in bigger plates and bowls
- Take effort to read the nutrition labels of what you are eating the recommended serving size for it. Do not assume the calories it will provide or the serving size for the food.
- Keep the wrappers, empty containers, bones, or dishes that will show you how much you've eaten.
- Do not gorge on junk. Try making your meal healthier.
- Avoid too much caffeine when you are stressed out and avoid alcohol. Both these drinks put a considerable strain on your body.
Good Mood Foods
The increasing awareness of effects of foods on health has made us diet conscious---so do not ignore what you are eating.
Prefer to eat complex carbohydrates, such as legumes, whole-grain breads and cereals, and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn. These foods act as stress busters as they increase the production of substances like serotonin in your brain which destress you. This chemical is known to perk up your mood, increase emotional energy and relieve pain. Simple carbs found in doughnuts and cookies boost serotonin production faster as compared to complex carbohydrates. But these foods increase your risk of weight gain.
So when you are stressed out and want munch prefer healthy and nutritious complex carbohydrates.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Feb 24, 2011
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