You’re stressed, so you eat comfort foods to relax. But this puts on weight, which makes your body more prone to illness, which stresses you out even more. You needn’t stay trapped on this ride. By making good food choices, you can help your body help you to feel better. Here are some tips for having a healthy diet for stress relief.
- Don’t Blame Yourself
So you’re stressed. It’s not your fault that you feel stressed and don’t want to diet. The human body has not evolved along with the speed of easy food distribution. Your body will naturally want you to eat high-calorie food because it doesn’t know when the next wooly mammoth migration will come along. And we don’t move around as much as we did thousands of years ago.
The human body is programmed to think it lives outside to work in the fields all day and not think about sticking to a healthy diet for stress relief. But it is your fault if you let your body rule your head. Your body can be retrained to crave more variety and better nutrition. It just takes practice; be patient with yourself.
- Water and Fiber
If you don’t make any other changes to your diet, just eat more fiber and drink more water. This greatly aids any healthy diet, for stress relief. Water and fiber help give you a full feeling and keeps away the painful constipation that often occurs to new dieters. Alcoholic beverages don’t count as water – in fact, alcohol dehydrates you and makes you thirstier. Fiber is found in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans, and to a lesser extent in cooked vegetables. These are things you should be eating anyway, so think of eating more fiber as multitasking.
- The Caffeine Kid
If you are used to drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks, hot or cold and eating a lot of chocolate, gradually cut back. Don’t go cold turkey – you may go through some painful withdrawal symptoms like migraines. This can greatly reduce your chances of sticking with a healthy diet for stress relief. Cut back one cup of coffee or one glass of cola for a week, and next week cut back yet another cup or glass, and so on.
Drink more water, herbal tea or fruit juice instead. You don’t see results right away, but keeping at it will give you the confidence to make other choices for a healthy diet for stress relief. That and you’ll sleep better, which can also lower your stress.