What’s one thing you find yourself doing during times of high stress? If the answer is binge eating and piling up on junk food, you’re not alone. Many of us turn to food and emotional eating as a way to cope with stress and anxiety. This is because foods that are high in salt, fat, and sugar tend to bring about a temporary sense of relief from stress to the brain.
However, these foods may wreak havoc on many other aspects of a person’s health and create even greater amounts of stress in the future. It’s no secret that a poor diet leads to poor mental health, which is why it’s important to put a stop to the tempting habit of indulging in fatty, sweet, or salty foods as a way to ride out a stressful time or situation.
Get on the Wagon
If you’re ready to reduce your stress and clean up your diet, start by examining the foods you eat in the mornings. The next time you feel rushed or stressed in the afternoon, remember what you ate after first waking up. If you only had time for a doughnut, pastry, or muffin, you may have already set yourself up for more anxiety in your day. These foods have very little nutritious value, and tend to overwhelm your body with sugar that spikes your blood glucose levels, only to drop them just a short time after. This leaves you even more tired and drained than before you ate.
If you ate these foods with coffee, that may be making your stress worse as well, especially if you chose a sweetened beverage. Even if you consume straight coffee, you may be sensitive to the caffeine. Try switching to black tea in the mornings to see if your stress levels go down.
Midday snacks should also be carefully chosen. That granola bar you keep in your purse may actually have the same amount of sugar as a candy bar, which won’t do much to calm you down or relieve anxiety. When lunchtime comes around, avoid fast food; the grease and fat will only lower your mood and may cause depression. Swap out soda for water as well, since soda offers no nutritional value — only ridiculously high amounts of sugar.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.