Stress Eating: You’re Doing it Wrong…

We’ve all had those days.

The ones that just seem to go downhill from the second you get out of bed; nothing is going your way and it shows. By the end of the night, you’re sitting on your couch, indulging in whatever sweet, salty or crunchy snack you can get your hands on. Suddenly, you start to feel better. All is right in the world again, right? You are stress eating, my friend.

Most of us do it. It’s a comfortable place where things like your over demanding boss and waist size don’t matter. You could stay there forever, create a colony of your own, and happily munch on fatty, comforting deliciousness day in and day out… Heck, you’d be Mayor of stress eating-ton! Alas, this is no way to live out your life. In fact, stress eating could pack on a minimum of 11 pounds per year! We KNOW your waist will NOT appreciate that kind of abuse!

The truth is, we all get stressed out; it is a natural, yet unfortunate, part of everyday life. Aside from learning how to handle your stress on a daily basis – like yoga, jogging, a luxurious bubble bath or going for a walk in the park – you can also help yourself by switching out your “go-to” stress foods for less damaging alternatives.

Typically, stress eating is a craving: something sweet, salty, fatty or crunchy. Here are some easy things to switch out that will help you tame your stress and still nibble, blissfully.

Stress Savers:

these are some vitamins and minerals that can help you tackle your stress. For the most part, stress can be combated by proper nutrition. Research has shown that the following nutrients help you keep your cool.

  • Folic Acid (Folate)

  • Omega 3 fatty acids

  • B Vitamins

  • Vitamin C

How to Stress Eat without Spoiling your Diet

Next time you are at wit’s end and needed some stress munch therapy, consider reaching for some of the following:

Asparagus: high in folate, which helps stabilize your mood. While it’s probably not the “go-to” snack, it is a great idea to add to lunch or dinner when you know you’re going to have a stressful day.

Avocados: can totally satisfy the need for “fatty” foods, avocados have “good fats” that our bodies need as well as lots of B Vitamins.

Bananas: with potassium and plenty of vitamins, bananas are known to help relieve depression. Watch your mood bounce back with these delicious fruits.

Berries: these sweet treats protect blood vessels in the brain from inflammation, helping you to keep your thoughts straight.

Dark Chocolate: rich in flavanols, this stress fighter also helps with inflammation. An Italian study found that people who ate the equivalent of half a dark chocolate bar every three days had much lower levels of inflammation, tension and stress! Just watch your portions!

Nuts – Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios: craving something crunchy? This one is a no brainer! Nuts are filled with zinc, selenium (a mineral that’s been found to elevate mood), and omega 3 fatty acids. Not to mention, they are the perfect swap for potato chips!

Oranges: the obvious source of vitamin C, oranges also are known to help lift your mood.

Sweet Potatoes: a way to satisfy that sweet tooth without too much sugar. Sweet potatoes have lots of Vitamin A & B Vitamins.

Yogurt: both yogurt (and milk) contain amino acid tryptophan, which helps product serotonin. Serotonin has a calming effect on the body, which is ideal when you’re stressed out. Try it frozen, for a chilly treat!

Mixing and matching is ideal. You can also bring a lot of these together for awesome snacks! Like adding sweet potatoes and asparagus to dinner or having berries as a calming snack at work.

I’m also thinking:

a mega frozen yogurt banana split with dark chocolate fudge and plenty of berries and nuts!

Talk about the most EPIC stress eating, waist-line AND taste buds approved idea!

Stress is inevitable, but stress and ruining your diet doesn’t have to go hand in hand. If you’re going to nibble, stress eat the right way… or at least a BETTER way. Keep these goodies stocked, so you don’t even have to think about it when you’re ready to explode. Just grab some dark chocolate and nuts and have at it! Portion control is strongly advised.

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