7 Ways to Avoid Stress-Related Food
7 Ways to Avoid Stress-Related Food
With the effect of the epidemic, we all closed in our homes. While some of us find activities to keep ourselves busy, some of us have consumed a lot of sugar and carbohydrate foods. The reason for this is not actually the weakness of our will, but it may be a game of our hormones that originate from the restrictive environment we are in.
WHY WE EAT?
There is a difference between eating because you are hungry and eating because you are stressed. Eating makes everyone feel good, especially when eating something delicious and reminiscent of childhood. Every time we eat sugary foods that are delightful but harmful to us, the dopamine ratio in the brain increases. Dopamine creates a feeling of pleasure by stimulating the reward center in the brain. Thanks to this feeling, our body tends to constantly consume sugar or carbohydrates. However, in the long term, due to dopamine stimulation, the amount of dopamine drops rapidly and the body's sugar request increases at the same rate. As a result, we enter the cycle of sweet cravings, which we call sweet cravings. In this way, what we eat not only ages us and gains weight, but also weakens our immune system and lowers our immune shields. According to a study, after each dessert we eat, our immune system decreases by 40 percent.
SO WHAT TO DO?
Clear Your Mind
Do not keep foods that are difficult to resist in your home. While having a jar of cookies or a bowl of colored sugar on the counter increases the visual appeal of your kitchen, it can cause frequent snacking and overeating, even when you're not hungry. Research has shown that visual exposure to high-calorie foods stimulates the striatum, a part of your brain that regulates impulse control, which can lead to increased cravings and overeating. Therefore, it's a good idea to avoid tempting foods that you think are harming you.
Keep a Journal
Keep track of your emotions and food. Keep a record of what you ate, the amounts you consumed, and how you felt before, during and after you ate. This can help identify emotional eating triggers. Over time, you may see patterns that reveal the link between your mood and food.
Pay special attention to whatever issue you feel stressed out, bored, lonely or anxious about before eating. It can help you understand what forces you to overeat and prevent overeating in the future.
Make a Plan
Creating a meal plan for the days you are at home and a menu for meals is beneficial for controlled eating. Having a meal and snack schedule regulates when we eat and how much we eat to avoid overeating.
There is no right or wrong food program. Plan what's convenient for you and meal breaks according to your day. Stick to your schedule.
We are in control of what we put on our plates. If you can't stop thinking about food, take a step back and check how correct your diet is. It is natural for your body to crave sweet after a meal that disrupts your blood sugar balance.
If your main meals are in season, fresh vegetables and fruits that contain the energy of the sun and rain, the right proteins, oils that provide the Omega balance, sprouted pulses, fermented foods, seeds and spices, you will be fed on a cell basis. Choosing a balanced diet suitable for your body structure and consuming foods rich in fiber and high quality omega-3 fats will help slow the absorption of sugar and you will not feel craving, especially at night.
Being still at home can cause boredom, stress and increased snacking frequency. To combat this, make sure to take time for daily physical activity. Do not limit yourself because your favorite gym or training studio is closing. Do online exercise, walking, jogging, yoga, or any other activity that you focus on breathing. Get a portable walkingpad or trampoline for cold weather or quarantine days, and add fun to your sports at home. Studies show that physical activity can positively affect mood and reduce stress. This is an opportunity to quit stressful eating habits.
Do not be dehydrated
Most of the time, hunger mimics dehydration. Thirst may actually be what we consider hunger because they signal from the same center in the brain.
Drinking enough water is important for overall health and can help you avoid stress-related overeating.
Being dehydrated can lead to changes in mood, attention and energy levels, which can affect your eating habits.
If you have trouble drinking water, add a few slices of pesticide-free fresh fruit to your water to combat dehydration and increase its flavor. It can help you drink more water throughout the day without adding sugar or calories to your diet.
Balance Your Stress
If stress contributes to your emotional eating, use compensating methods that will make you feel good. Instead of snacking when you are not hungry, put in activity that will distract you.
Try stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
Breathing work is important support in relaxing the anxiety state and reducing the overall volume of stress we are exposed to. The 4-7-8 breathing technique of Andrew Weil, a Harvard graduate well-being medical doctor, is an effective method in this regard. (Inhale for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds)