Stress and Food
Many recent studies confirm the importance of healthy eating. Starting with a broad study links obesity with stress. If you’re overweight, you may be at greater risk for stress-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a new study. Moving to more specific studies like this one, showing how fruit and vegetable consumption is not only good for physical well-being, but also mental health.
Foods that fight stress include:
- High-fiber carbohydrate food
Foods that enable stress that should be avoided:
- High fat-food
- High sugar foods
Below are nine nice visualization of how many fruits/veggies you should be eating in a day:This is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Daily Recommendations. The CDC reported in 2010 that only 33% of adults were eating the daily recommended amount of fruit, and even fewer —27% — were meeting their veggie quota. They went on to explain in a 2000 calorie daily diet a person needs to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables everyday.
If you work in a stressful profession, neglecting your body makes you very vulnerable to that stress. The most obvious areas of care for one‘s body are diet and physical exercise. A first step towards improvement is becoming conscious of your reality. Take a piece of paper and describe how you are currently paying attention to your diet and getting your exercise. Are you pleased with the result? Also in this journal, describe a first step in improving your behavior for the next week. Reflect on the past, but look forward to the goal, make one simple action plan.
There is always a temptation for small indulgences. You may tell yourself, “I’ve been working hard, doing so much good” or “I deserve that candy bar or extra order of French fries.” Another may be, “I’ve been so busy meeting the demands of my job that I have just been too busy or too tired to go exercise.” Not all indulgences are bad but they can easily get out of hand. Becoming conscious of them is a first step to keeping a balance in your life. On your paper, list a couple of small indulgences that you have given in to during the past month. I know for me, I enjoy fast food from Wendy’. This is both unhealthy and expensive. If I can cut this one bad habit out for a month, I will save money and realize that I can eat healthier.
If you do make a plan to do exercise, try to make a connection with other people. Some people play sports together, attend exercise classes with others, find a partner to walk with or run with, etc. When someone else expects you to participate, this builds accountability and support for changing your habits. Also making the event social makes it more fun and offers more of a motivation than just the pure physical exercise (which you may actually be dreading).
These three simple exercises can be useful in helping you accomplish your physical goals this next year. First journal about your plan and then take one step to execute that plan. Second, consider any “indulgences” that are slowly taxing your health. Third, make the exercise (and even the diets too) social, adding a social element offer an alternative motivation to meet your goals.
Here are this weeks’ links:
1. 10 Way to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries by Psych Central
2. How cutting sugar and carbs reverses aging by Wellness Achiever
3. High blood sugar levels linked to memory loss by Web MD
4. Study: Frequent Texters Are Stressed Out and Don’t Sleep Well by Relevant Magazine
5. How Loneliness can affect your diet and your health by Huffington Post
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