Do you ever consider that if you ate differently, you might be better able to deal with the stress in your life? Do you ever wonder how stress affects your eating habits? Stress and food are inextricably linked, no matter how you look at it. There are numerous things you can do to alleviate stress without relying on food as a crutch.
How Your Diet and Stress Are Related
- When you’re tired, you’re more likely to eat too much or too little. When you do one of these things, your blood glucose levels are negatively impacted, and your moods can swing violently, resulting in conflict and increased stress. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of how food can be used against us! You can choose to adjust your stress response once you become aware of it.
- Food cannot cure stress, but it can provide relief. You give your body what it needs to cope with your everyday demands when you consume healthy foods. In other words, eating the right foods provides the body with the power it needs to get through common stressful situations. When you eat primarily sugars and fats in your diet, because your body lacks the nutrients and energy supplies required to deal with stress, you are more likely to feel grumpy, tired, or anxious.
- Stress weakens the immune system, whereas the right foods can help to strengthen it. Studies have repeatedly shown that stress weakens our immune system, leaving us vulnerable to dangerous viruses, bacteria, and illnesses. It has also been demonstrated that eating the right foods helps your body build and maintain a healthy immune system. The key point here is straightforward: Eat well, feel great!
Your Stress and Your Diet
When you consider all of the ways that stress and diet are intertwined, it’s difficult to deny that the foods you eat influence how you think, feel, and react. After all, an unhealthy diet not only strains your body but also your mind. A good place to start is to assess your daily diet and implement one change at a time to achieve the healthy lifestyle you deserve.
Not Just the Diet
A well-balanced diet can help you handle stress more efficiently, but simply eating well isn’t enough. You can do a variety of things to help balance and manage your stress, including:
- Getting a good night’s sleep of 7-8 hours
- Taking time to unwind
- Having a support system
- Being aware of your limitations
- Planning and organizing ahead of time
- Being able to say no
These are just a few stress-relieving strategies that, along with healthy eating, will help you limit and control the stress in your life. When you incorporate even a few of these healthy living strategies into your life, you’ll notice that overwhelming stress is no longer a factor, and the weight on your shoulders (and thighs!) will be lifted.