3 Ways To Stop Stress From Wrecking Your Diet
We've all been there when it comes to stressful situations.
The temptation to reach for the chocolate or opt for the "easy" option can often become too much to resist.
Most foods high in sugar & fat (usually known an junk food) can actually help increase dopamine in the brain, leading to a decrease of stress.
So it is no wonder we sometimes go after these things when stress is high.
Truth is though, any short term relief is only just covering the cracks.
Especially if we have things like health & fat loss on our minds. Going for these calorie dense, fatty & sugary foods will more than likely have the knock on effect of making it extremely difficult for us to reach any health or fat loss goals.
So, what can you do?
Stress cannot be avoided.
Therefore, it makes much more sense to develop strategies to help manage it effectively. Especially when it comes to your decision making throughout your day.
If stress eating is something you find yourself up against most days, and you're ready to kick it to the side, then try one of these strategies that I myself use most days, and highly encourage clients to try out as well!
1. Take Five.
There’s loads of reasons to crave sugary and calorie dense foods when stressed. Lack of time, motivation to cook, as well as loads of stuff going on inside your body, that lead you to having these cravings in the first place.
I recommend when you find yourself in a situation where it’s becoming a stress in itself to resist the chocolate in the midst of a chaotic situation, then take up to 5 minutes before you actually reach for it. If you still want it at the end of the 5 minutes, then go for it!
I don’t have any sciencey explanation to back this up. But I’ve just found that a few minutes to consider it will usually lead to more of a logical thought process. Where you become fully aware of the fact you don’t really want it, and that you’re perhaps better off long term without it.
Give it a go if you can and see what happens.
2. Write Stuff Down.
Trying to manage stress overall, can be helped by writing stuff down I find. Again, might not work for everyone, but worth a shot!
I’d recommend starting with writing down the reasons you’re stressed in that very moment.
I’ve found seeing things on paper can make them a lot less intimidating, and again maybe giving you just enough wiggle room to reduce the level of stress you’re feeling at that given moment.
Meaning you’re a lot less likely to mindlessly go grabbing at any chocolates or biscuits around the office.
3. Count How Many Breaths You Take.
Easy. Just take 30-60 seconds to count how many breaths you do.
I realise a lot of people can be sceptical about meditation or breathwork, especially in the middle of the day, and at work! So try not to think of this as either of those.
It’s just like playing a little game. Counting how many times you breath in as little as 30 seconds. You don’t even need to look like you’re doing it, just count in your head.
More than likely to temporarily take your mind off whatever is stressing you out at that time, and help bring about a state of “balance” mentally as well as physically.