Reduce Your Stress with the Right Diet
Stress can make or break your diet. If you have a lot of stress, you are going to have a difficult time keeping to your diet, as it will make you want to eat more. Many stress cravings are for foods that are not at all healthy for you.
But what you eat has an effect on your stress levels as well. If you can make some small dietary changes, you can greatly reduce the amount of stress your body feels. The stress from food may not be as great as from your emotional state or from pressures you face due to your responsibilities, but cutting back on any kind of stress at all can really help you keep to your diet and achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
Cut the Caffeine
Coffee is one of the biggest causes of stress on most people’s diet. The caffeine in coffee causes increased heart rate, which puts stress on the heart. It also can cause insomnia or sleeplessness, which weakens your body and makes it more stressed and more susceptible to stress.
The more coffee you drink, the more stressed you will feel. When you don’t have your coffee, you may feel some withdrawal symptoms, and you may feel like you need the coffee to stop feeling so stressed.
But if you remove the coffee from your diet, then your stress levels are going to drop considerably. You can use decaf coffee if it is just the flavor you are after. Or you can use coffee alternatives, like cocoa or herbal tea. Tea in particular is great for reducing stress and making you feel more relaxed.
Drink Alcohol Sparingly
Alcohol is another beverage that can raise your stress levels. It puts some stress on your heart, and it dehydrates your body. If you are a heavy drinker, your body will feel weak from a lack of water. Whenever you have alcohol, you need to match each drink with the same amount of juice or water.
You should try to limit how much you have. While it would be ideal to cut out the alcohol consumption entirely, that’s not something most people are going to want to do. Instead, you can just limit your consumption. Women should have no more than 7 drinks a week. Men can double that, but should not go any farther than that.
You can’t really find any healthy alternatives to alcohol that are going to be readily available in places you go to drink. For those who drink at home, some substitutes can be found in apple cider, honegar (honey and vinegar) and prune juice. All of these share some common traits with alcohol and they can help you get by without needing to drink so much. They are also all very healthy for you and great for dieters looking to shed some pounds.
Hangovers caused by alcohol are also very bad for your diet. They cause a ton of stress, both emotionally and physically, and they can be difficult to recover from quickly. You certainly don’t want to be using alcohol as a coping mechanism. If you are, then you need to get help outside of simple dietary changes.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
You have to have some sugar in your body to keep your blood glucose levels on track. Most people get far too much sugar in their diet though. You want to be careful about how much sugar you are eating and especially about how much you eat at once.
If you eat a lot of sugar at once, it can make you lethargic. This is going to make it much harder to exercise properly or have the motivation to eat right. You aren’t going to want to take the effort to make something healthy if you are feeling a bit lazy. So just watch how much sugar you are putting into your body, especially in one sitting.
There are plenty of other foods that can affect your stress levels. Take time to research what you are eating and consider how much you are eating of each food. Anything that makes you feel sleepy, bloated or stressed is going to be bad for your diet. Incorporate them into your eating regimen with care.