10 Ways to Fight Stress-Related Food Cravings
Fitness trainer Debi Silber, known as “”The Mojo Coach,” knows from her clients how easy it can be to eat unhealthy foods to relieve stress. “With food available everywhere, it’s easy to see how easily food can be being used as an unhealthy form of stress relief,” Debi says. “Unfortunately, using food to relieve our stress is a temporary solution at best, with the long term consequences ranging from obesity to poor health, to a lack of confidence, poor self esteem and more.” Here are Debi’s 10 tips to reduce stress-related bingeing by using healthy alternatives:
Watch funny comedies or videos!
Did you know on average, a child laughs 300 times a day and an adult only laugh 17 times a day? There are studies that prove multiple health benefits laughter has on health. Laughter decreases the amount of stress related hormones in our brain!
Drink water to curb appetite
Water helps to keep you hydrated and energized.
A study showed that people who drank about 2 cups of water before a meal ate about 75 – 90 fewer calories than people who did not drink water before a meal.
Find ways to flavor the water with all natural ingredients such as lemon, lime, mint and a bit of stevia for sweetness
Take a brisk walk when sugar cravings hit!
Research finds that a 15 minute walk when a sugar (chocolate) craving kicks in actually reduces the craving. The boost of endorphins and feeling that you’re doing something proactive for your health may be enough for you to crave the exercise vs. the sugar…eventually.
Sugar craving is heavily associated with brain chemical activity. Research has even shown that sugar addiction is similar to any other substance or drug addiction. Exercising can put those chemicals in balance so that the craving decreases.
Take a hot aromatic bath or shower
It only takes less than 10 minutes to curb a craving! Yale University conducted research that found that being surrounded by a warm environment, like a shower, actually triggers brain and body responses that decrease stress and promote healthier emotions.
In Russia, busy workers even go to hot saunas called “banyas” to de-stress.
Cook your own meals
Taking the time to prepare a healthy meal for yourself typically means you’ll be taking in more whole, real and nutrient dense foods if you plan carefully. Enjoy the scents and flavors in what you’re cooking along with the experience of taking measures towards your own self-care. While eating, appreciate the effort you put into your creation and enjoy while mindfully eating your delicious food. By appreciating the value of food and your own creation, your cravings and appetite can decrease.
Call a friend or relative
Find a healthy and engaging distraction! Call a friend or family member to create a sense of community and connectedness. Instead of snacking, steer your attention towards people and relationships you love.