>With today’s go-go-go lifestyle, more and more people are getting run down, which makes them more susceptible to depression and anxiety.
You just had a big fight with your boss and head home only to find that your significant other is upset and takes it out on you. Now you’re cooking dinner and the food burns and you’re starving! You feel so stressed out and overwhelmed and angry and upset. What is the first thing you do, reach for some if not an abundance of sugary and fatty foods like cakes, pastries or other baked goods or chocolate. Do you find that after a long, few days of work and chores you are so exhausted that you binge eat on these types of foods, just to settle down and relax? If this is something you can relate to, you would be classified as an emotional eater.
Emotional eating consists of eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness and major life events or smaller ones that accumulate, are often the triggers that cause the erratic and unhealthy eating that disrupts your weight loss/health efforts.
This is often a vicious cycle created by succumbing to your cravings as soon as you feel those negative emotions, then you indulge and feel even MORE negative emotions in response to your actions.
Don’t worry there is hope! The first step is to recognize this behavior. It helps to keep a food diary and make notes of how you are feeling when you binge, so you can nip it in the bud. Here are few tips:
•Get enough deep sleep. Have a nice protein shake before bed with some ZMA, turn off all the electronics in your room, keep it cool and dark and wake up rested and relaxed
•Start and end your day every day with some meditation and/or yoga. This has been proven time and again that it works to help manage stress, anxiety and depression
•Seek out help from life coaches, support groups or family and friends
•Get in a good workout every day. Another great thing to do is substitute the fatty, sugary foods for a nice walk or an intense kickboxing class. Exercise releases endorphins, which are those “feel good” hormones, and really I am sure you have often said, “I wish I didn’t just eat that” but have you ever said, “I wish I didn’t just do that workout?”
•Keep these “bad foods” out of the house. The harder it is to get to them, the more likely you will choose not to indulge.
•Stay hydrated and snack on healthy foods throughout the day. Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced will also help to keep your moods balanced. Find recipes for healthy versions of the comfort foods you seek out.
•Avoid too much caffeine or other stimulants. These things increase anxiety and have a negative effect on blood sugar if over-used, not to mention how it will affect your sleep (see above).
If you find that you are often reaching for so-called comfort foods to soothe your moods, take action with these tips and get back on the path to a successfully healthy lifestyle.