How To Stop Stress Eating

How To Stop Stress Eating

When you’re feeling stressed, the need to find a source of comfort is natural. For some people, that’s eating food. Stress eating or emotional eating is a very real problem that can lead to serious consequences, both physical and mental. Maybe you need to eat to deal with uncomfortable issues or you use food as a reward. Maybe your irritability can only be cured by your favorite food or salty or sweet foods are the only way to get you to relax. These habits can leave negative long-term effects and it’s important to curb them as soon as possible. At first, it may seem difficult to control or to even identify the moments you’re emotional eating, but there are some expert-approved tips to help you keep your emotional eating at bay.

Awareness

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Exploring your triggers is essential in monitoring your emotional eating. Before you can change, you need to come up with an effective strategy and that means identifying what needs to be changed. Emotional eating is often called “mindless eating” and this is because there’s a certain lack of awareness when your unchecked needs and habits take over.

A crucial step to achieving awareness is being aware of how you feel the moment just right before you’re about to eat. Why do you want to eat right now? Why this particular food? Emotional eating can be your body’s way of saying it’s deprived. To study patterns, keep a food diary. Note the time, type of food and the emotions you’re associating with before, during and after you eat. Also record how full you felt after. This can help in determining whether you’re eating for the right or the wrong reasons.

Relaxation techniques

There’s a physiological reason for craving sweet and salty foods when you’re stressed. Cortisol is a hormone that triggers this craving and is produced at higher levels when you’re under stress. Stress management, then, should be a key component of your strategy.

Explore other, healthier ways to handle stress. Set up a support system of friends who you can speak to, write about your issues in a journal, or get into the habit of regular physical activity. Even simple coping mechanisms can help, like putting on music, hugging your pet, or taking a moment to enjoy the view from your window. The key is to find an activity that isn’t related to food.

Mindfulness exercises

Mindfulness is a great way to build a keen sense of awareness and to take control of your actions. You can even practice mindfulness while you’re eating. Forms of mindfulness exercises include meditation, deep breathing, or even cleaning up your house. Mindfulness can also involve simply observing your thoughts. Instead of ignoring them or deflecting through emotional eating, take a moment to focus. Sit back and listen instead of working against your jumbled, stressed out thoughts.

Healthy alternatives

Working to change your emotional eating habits can take some time and if you can’t eliminate it, then at least consider healthier options. It can take some getting used to, but choose fresh and nutritional foods over junk food.

Leg-Strengthening Exercises You Need to Try Out

Leg-Strengthening Exercises You Need to Try Out

Even if you’re not a runner or an athlete and even if it seems all you do the whole day is sit, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider strengthening your legs. Literally, our legs carry us through our daily lives, from walking up stairs to lugging around laundry baskets in the house. Leg-strengthening is also something you shouldn’t feel terrified about. There are some simple leg exercises you can squeeze into your busy schedule or add to your existing fitness routine.

In fact, these exercises require no equipment at all. Body weight exercises for the legs are extremely effective even without weights or other gym equipment. This type of exercise can even improve your posture and balance.  All you need is a chair and some motivation. In no time, you’ll not only feel your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and inner thighs feeling stronger, but looking great too.

Reverse Lunges with Knee Lifts

Get into starting position with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Step your left foot backwards, landing on the ball of your foot and bending both knees. You should be creating two 90-degree angles with both legs. Return to standing position by pushing through your right heel. Whilst returning to a standing position, thrust your left knee towards your chest.

Three-Way Lunge

This exercise will work your buttocks, quads, inner thighs and hamstrings. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands clasped in front of your chest. Lunge forward with your left leg, keeping your knee bent at 90 degrees. Return to starting position. Perform a lunge with your left leg out to the left side and your toes facing forward. Bend your left knee at 90 degrees. Return to starting position. Lunge backwards with your left leg. Repeat the three-way sequence with your right leg. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps, alternating sides.

Plié Squat Calf Raises

personal training near meStand with your feet apart, wider than shoulder-width, and toes turned out. Place your hands on your hips or in front of your chest. Do a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. While squatting, left both your heels off the ground and hold for two seconds. Lower your heels back down. Return to a standing position and then repeat 10 to 15 times.

High Knee Toe Taps

Face a chair or a box and place your hands on your hips. Raise and tap your left foot on the chair, then do the same with your right. Your motion should be quick as you alternate sides. Be sure to keep your back straight and chest lifted as you perform this exercise. This exercise will help with your balance, core strength and body control.

Pistol Squats

This particular type of squat will target your buttocks and quads. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your arms in front of your chest with your elbows bent. Lift your right foot forward a few centimetres off the ground while keeping it flexed. Perform a squat as you raise your foot to hip level, bending your left knee at 90 degrees. To stay balanced, let your right heel hover close to the ground. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps for each side. Note that this exercise is very difficult and should only be performed once you have performed lunges and two-legged squats to the point where you are comfortable to do this exercise.

Foods to Combat Sugar Cravings

Foods to Combat Sugar Cravings

Our bodies are more dependent on sugar than we think. Added sugars can be found in a variety of foods today. They can even be disguised under names like agave nectar, evaporated cane or turbinado. Sugar addiction has often been likened to drug addiction and essentially, they’re similar in the sense that building a dependence can be detrimental. Like drugs, sugar can spike the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which can bring about feelings of pleasure. The more sugar we take, the higher our tolerance becomes, and the more sugar we crave.

When cutting down or even completely cutting off your body from sugar, there are ways you can fight the cravings. This includes eating the right foods to fend off the hormonal changes throughout your body and ease those alarming mood swings.

Nuts

personal training brookfieldFats, the healthy kinds, are your best bet to keep your taste-buds satisfied and stomach satiated when craving sugar. Nuts in particular have beneficial minerals and vitamins that can keep your blood sugar levels and blood pressure steady. Almonds and Brazil nuts are mildly sweet if you’re looking for that flavour.

Spices

If your taste-buds insist on getting that sweetness, shock them instead with flavoursome spices. If a recipe calls for sugar, switch it up with unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon or vanilla extract. When eating savoury dishes, throw in some extra garlic and onions or a dash of lime juice.

Dark chocolate

Pick up dark chocolate instead of your usual milk chocolate bar, which typically contains excessive amounts of sugar and fat. Make sure to choose the variety that has more than 70 percent cocoa. Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Fermented foods

If you love snacking on yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, pickles and sauerkraut, then keep eating them. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria, which can keep your gut clean and fight off diseases. A healthy gut can influence your cravings and appetite.

Dates

A sweet treat you can opt for are dates or the dried fruit of the date palm tree. They’re terrific sources of fibre, potassium and iron. Dates are also another good example of healthy, plant-based fats that can keep your cravings at bay. It’s a great substitute for sweetness and can even be added to a smoothie.

Sweet potatoes

Still craving a hint of sweetness in your meals? Sweet potatoes could be the answer. This healthy food is sweet and nutritious. It contains fibre as well as vitamin A and C and potassium.

Eggs

High-protein foods can also aid in regulating your appetite and cravings. This is due to the fact that a high-protein meal taken at the start of the day can suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin while increasing the hormones that make you feel full. Eggs are a good example of that. Incorporate them into your breakfast to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.

Smoothies

Fruits are great sources of healthy, natural sugars and packing it into a smoothie with other healthy ingredients make for a great snack. It can even be a great substitute for dessert. Adding in yoghurt also makes you feel fuller for longer, which can fight off those cravings. Just be sure to use fresh whole fruits to get the healthy fibre and not fruit juice, which usually contains sugars.