Meta: If you understood how stress affects your diet and health, you’d be all grins right now! Check out how to maintain healthy diet habits amidst all the pressure.
Eat with a plan – not at will!
Why stress is a No-No for your health and weight
Talks about healthy diet habits abound even at this time and day when humanity still struggles to put an end to the pandemic. If anything, the self-quarantine mode has only come to bring to surface level the poor eating habits of millions of Americans. Compounding the stay-at-home practice with poor eating habits and you have another pandemic in itself – the weight gaining phenomenon.
Moreover, sufficient evidence and research abound, showing how stressors may negatively impact your diet and healthy lifestyle. However, this is very subjective as it depends on the person in question. For some, stress may only come to undermine eating patterns hence going for long stretches without food. Nevertheless, for most, food is the perfect getaway to quench whatever stress the individual is going through. We can all agree that the coronavirus has come with its fair share of anxiety among all age groups.
Mindless munching on food at whatever time of the day (particularly processed food) leads to obesity. Obesity is considered a heterogeneous construct with several causes. What stress does is to stimulate the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, including other brain regions. These changes result in an uncontrollable urge for specific food preferences, especially hyper-palatable foods. This is one of the secrets food companies don’t want you to know about processed foods. Additionally, any stressor that may cause you to set aside your healthy diet routine and go overboard on mindless eating may lead you into a state of depression, malnutrition as you lack appropriate nutrients, different cancers, and even infertility.
How to achieve a healthy diet plan
Netflix and chill isn't such a good idea if you are going through something stressful. You'll want to avoid that as much as possible and keep yourself busy if at all you wish to withdraw from unhealthy eating habits. This may involve challenging yourself with great outdoor activities or even creating something innovative. The point is to ensure your mind is not focused on eating.
It would be best if you do not walk on this journey alone. Getting out of any addictive habit is usually a challenge for most people, and that is why support groups are so practical. To that effect, we recommend explaining your problem and sharing your heart's burdens with a friend, a spouse, or someone you know will understand you. This person could then act as your accountability partner going forward. The mission is to fully heal and recover, not only from the deviation from your healthy diet but also from the stress in general.
Other than eating too much (or too little), other tell-tale signs that you are undergoing stress include migraines and frequent headaches, feeling fatigued, reduced productivity, sadness, anxiety, regular bursts of anger, and confusion, insomnia, lack of concentration, or sleeping too much. These are some of the things you should disclose to your accountability partner. Be open to talking about the possible reasons for what you are going through.
Benefits of healthy diet
Once that is out of the way, it's now time to set SMART, healthy diet goals. Your plan should detail the number of times you are to eat in a single day and, if possible, have a weekly planner for what you'll be eating daily. The plan should reflect the needed budget to achieve the same and, if possible, go shopping with your accountability partner to avoid temptations to unwanted foods. Maximize on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in your healthy diet plan. It's okay to give yourself a treat every once in two weeks if you have managed to be faithful to your new healthy diet routine.
Eat right, feel right!
But why should you bother going through all that? What are some of the healthy diet importance that could benefit you? First of all, as the name suggests, your health will improve dramatically. You are sure to reap the benefits of all the right vitamins and minerals if you are keen when setting your healthy diet goals. This will go a long way to counteract the stress. Once you are back to a proper eating regime, you will have all the energy you need to function productively throughout the day. Moreover, you will keep several diseases at bay, including diabetes, coronary ailments, hypertension, and obesity.
Summarizing on healthy diet basics
Adopting healthy diet habits is a mixture of all that. You ought to create a balanced lifestyle where your indoor activities match your outdoor schedule – working from home notwithstanding – to reap the benefits of a healthy diet. Furthermore, failure to get sufficient sleep will compound the tension and leave you craving more food to fill up for the lack of sleep. It's also about creating meaningful social relationships as being isolated from people may have you stressed, depressed, and worse still, you end up making your phone or TV your close comrade!
It’s time to take it easy!
Having a firm knowledge of the healthy diet basics and the importance of eating well, and setting achievable goals may not be enough to get you started. It is crucial to understand the essentials of healthy diet and what comprises one. Some of the foods that should top your grocery shopping list are the likes of;
- Polyunsaturated fats the likes of coconut and olive oil
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lots of water
- Sunshine does for your health
- Whole grains and nuts.
What to avoid;
- Alcohol, tobacco, and most drugs (even medical prescriptions)
- Sugar-sweetened drinks
- Refined carbohydrates and processed foods
- High amounts of salt.
It is always advisable to consult a qualified nutritionist or your physician before embarking on a healthy diet plan. This would be the best person to advise you on the advantages and dangers of using the best appetite suppressant should you feel the need.
That said, do you have a personalized healthy diet plan, or do you use a commercialized one?
Author's bio: Thomas Nemel was obese in childhood, only at the age of 17 he began to actively fight it. With the support of his family, strong diet and regular exercising he was successfully getting rid of excess weight. Now he has got a strong background in fitness that he would like to share with the world.