balance diet

7 Ways to Maintain a Balanced Diet During Stress

maintaining a healthful diet during stress

A research paper published in Edizioni Minerva Medica, a journal on medical science, studied the relationship between stress and eating habits. The research divides this feeling of ‘stress’ into two broad categories: acute stress and prolonged stress. While the stimulus for stress in both these cases could be the same (maybe you have a deadline to meet, perhaps there is a life-altering decision that needs to be taken etc.), acute stress is considered to be “good stress”, as it activates adaptive responses and if often desirable as it may increase motivation to achieve goal-direct outcomes. On the other hand, prolonged stress results in biological alterations that weaken stress-related adaptive processes and increases disease susceptibility, thus resulting in “wear and tear”.

One of the many reactions triggered by stress is a physiological one: our body trying to regain the equilibrium lost by the impact of the stressor. During such time a shift toward choosing more pleasurable and palatable foods is observed. The foods eaten during times of stress typically favour high fat and/or sugar content.

Increased intake of high-fat diets increases sensitization of reward pathways, which influences preference for addictive substances and hyper-palatable foods and increases craving and intake. To break it down, sans the jargon, increased intake of a high-fat diet, triggered by stress, gives a feeling of instant gratification and relief, which one is craving for any high anxiety/stress situation. Body like the relief thus caused and a cycle of stress eating sets in. 

It is essential to break free from this cycle, which requires a couple of mindful changes in eating habits to maintain a healthy relationship with food during times of stress

Here are ways to Maintain a Balanced Diet during times of stress; read till the end for a bonus tip!

  1. KEEP A SUPPLY OF HEALTHY SNACKS HANDY

As established before, you naturally turn to comfort food in times of stress, thus triggering a cycle of stress eating. Why not add some healthy alternatives to your diet that you can munch on in times of stress.

Here are ways to Maintain a Balanced Diet during times of stress; read till the end for a bonus tip!

1. KEEP A SUPPLY OF HEALTHY SNACKS HANDY

As established before, you naturally turn to comfort food in times of stress, thus triggering a cycle of stress eating. Why not add some healthy alternatives to your diet that you can munch on in times of stress.

2. 3

Following are a few suggestions:

  •  Chose Baked food over Fried food:Dropping those fries will help a great deal in controlling calorie intake. These French fries and chips can easily be replaced with baked alternatives, which are much healthier!
  •  Frozen Yoghurt over Ice Cream:Who does not like a bowl of Sundae when feeling down in the dumps?!?!? But since a balanced diet is also about making better choices, there are healthier choices other than Ice cream to get your frozen dessert fix. Time to embrace fruity frozen yoghurt.
  •  Replace Milkshakes with Smoothies:You can always beat the summer heat with homemade smoothies that taste like a traditional milkshake.
  •  Olive Oil is always a better choice: Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants and helps build healthy bones, hearts, and minds. 
  1. REMOVE STIMULANTS FROM YOUR DIET

Consumption of a stimulant in form, especially in copious amounts, is not encouraged. Food items like Coffee, Tea and everyone’s comfort dessert chocolate contain caffeine.

3. 3Consuming large quantities (we all know that ‘don’t talk to me before my first cup of coffee’ person!) causes one to feel strung out. Impulsive drinking, especially if you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, is highly discouraged.

 

 

  1. ADOPT HEALTHY COOKING HABITS: 

4. 3

In a fast life, people mostly opt for eating fast foods, ready to eat meal packets, etc. It is always healthy to choose to cook at home; yes, it can get hectic when there is work to manage and when you can always order in those fries or baked nachos or noodles or…you know what I mean. Making small changes in cooking habits can make a massive impact on your health. Exploring healthy ways to add variety to your meals as repetition can get boring, and you might end up ordering it again!

 

  1. HAVE A WORKOUT ROUTINE: 

Apart from mindful eating and altering your diet, one of the best stress-busting strategies is to start exercising. Aerobic exercise boosts oxygen circulation and spurs your body to make happy chemicals called endorphins.

2. 3

Following are a few suggestions:

  • Chose Baked food over Fried food: Dropping those fries will help a great deal in controlling calorie intake. These French fries and chips can easily be replaced with baked alternatives, which are much healthier!
  • Frozen Yoghurt over Ice Cream: Who does not like a bowl of Sundae when feeling down in the dumps?!?!? But since a balanced diet is also about making better choices, there are healthier choices other than Ice cream to get your frozen dessert fix. Time to embrace fruity frozen yoghurt.
  • Replace Milkshakes with Smoothies: You can always beat the summer heat with homemade smoothies that taste like a traditional milkshake.
  • Olive Oil is always a better choice: Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants and helps build healthy bones, hearts, and minds.

    2. REMOVE STIMULANTS FROM YOUR DIET

Consumption of a stimulant in form, especially in copious amounts, is not encouraged. Food items like Coffee, Tea and everyone’s comfort dessert chocolate contain caffeine.

3. 3Consuming large quantities (we all know that ‘don’t talk to me before my first cup of coffee’ person!) causes one to feel strung out. Impulsive drinking, especially if you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, is highly discouraged.

3. ADOPT HEALTHY COOKING HABITS: 

4. 3

In a fast life, people mostly opt for eating fast foods, ready to eat meal packets, etc. It is always healthy to choose to cook at home; yes, it can get hectic when there is work to manage and when you can always order in those fries or baked nachos or noodles or…you know what I mean. Making small changes in cooking habits can make a massive impact on your health. Exploring healthy ways to add variety to your meals as repetition can get boring, and you might end up ordering it again!

4. HAVE A WORKOUT ROUTINE: 

Apart from mindful eating and altering your diet, one of the best stress-busting strategies is to start exercising. Aerobic exercise boosts oxygen circulation and spurs your body to make happy chemicals called endorphins.

Workout - diet exercise and stress management

While working out every day could be hectic, throwing in a workout thrice or four times a week can be a great help. To get started, you can try building a routine by using some homework apps. 8fit Workouts & Meal Planner and Daily Yoga | Fitness Yoga Plan & Meditation App are a few good suggestions.

8fit Workouts & Meal Planner 
Daily Yoga | Fitness Yoga Plan & Meditation App 

  1. BE MINDFUL: 

Everything boils down to internalizing and cultivating a healthy mindset. Being aware of stressful events which trigger an urge to grab a bar of chocolate and finishing it whole!

6.Just a simple act of being aware of your triggers or just being mindful that a particular situation is a stressful one can work wonders.

Building a habit of meditation can help a great deal. While meditation is no easy feat, here are some apps that will help you every step of the way on your meditation journey. Headspace: Meditation & Sleep and ‘Lojong: Meditation and Mindfulness +Calm -Anxiety’ are great to get started with your mindfulness journey.


Headspace: Meditation & Sleep
Lojong: Meditation and Mindfulness +Calm -Anxiety

  1. KNOW WHEN TO STOP: 

7.

More than knowing what to eat, it is imperative to know when to stop. By ‘stop’, I mean know when to just take it easy sometimes. Knowing that it is also not healthy to obsess over the stuff that is going inside your body. It is alright to make a detour to that Chinese place you love and go easy on yourself once in a while.

  1. WATER WATER EVERYWHERE, JUST DON’T FORGET TO DRINK: 

8. 1As cliché as it might sound, being hydrated is quintessential to one’s well being.

Being dehydrated by just half a litre can increase cortisol (a stress hormone) levels in the body.

One is more likely to get dehydrated when under stress; as there is an increase in heart rate and breathing, the body loses more fluids. In addition to that, one is more likely to drink less water in any stressful situation or eat healthily.

Let’s be honest here when you are in the middle of frantically finishing off an essay that is due the next day, it is improbable that you will go, “You know what, I should get some water first”, nope, all you are concerned about is if you have managed to meet the word limit, are the all the punctuations correct?!?

This vicious cycle of dehydration causing stress and stress causing dehydration can be broken by just cultivating a habit of drinking more water in a day. Easier said than done, huh? Once this habit is developed, it is a smooth ride forward.

While working out every day could be hectic, throwing in a workout thrice or four times a week can be a great help. To get started, you can try building a routine by using some homework apps. 8fit Workouts & Meal Planner and Daily Yoga | Fitness Yoga Plan & Meditation App are a few good suggestions.

8fit Workouts & Meal Planner 
Daily Yoga | Fitness Yoga Plan & Meditation App 

5. BE MINDFUL: 

Everything boils down to internalizing and cultivating a healthy mindset. Being aware of stressful events which trigger an urge to grab a bar of chocolate and finishing it whole!

6.Just a simple act of being aware of your triggers or just being mindful that a particular situation is a stressful one can work wonders.

Building a habit of meditation can help a great deal. While meditation is no easy feat, here are some apps that will help you every step of the way on your meditation journey. Headspace: Meditation & Sleep and ‘Lojong: Meditation and Mindfulness +Calm -Anxiety’ are great to get started with your mindfulness journey.

Headspace: Meditation & Sleep
Lojong: Meditation and Mindfulness +Calm -Anxiety

6. KNOW WHEN TO STOP: 

7.

More than knowing what to eat, it is imperative to know when to stop. By ‘stop’, I mean know when to just take it easy sometimes. Knowing that it is also not healthy to obsess over the stuff that is going inside your body. It is alright to make a detour to that Chinese place you love and go easy on yourself once in a while.

7. WATER WATER EVERYWHERE, JUST DON’T FORGET TO DRINK: 

8. 1As cliché as it might sound, being hydrated is quintessential to one’s well being.

Being dehydrated by just half a litre can increase cortisol (a stress hormone) levels in the body.

One is more likely to get dehydrated when under stress; as there is an increase in heart rate and breathing, the body loses more fluids. In addition to that, one is more likely to drink less water in any stressful situation or eat healthily.

Let’s be honest here when you are in the middle of frantically finishing off an essay that is due the next day, it is improbable that you will go, “You know what, I should get some water first”, nope, all you are concerned about is if you have managed to meet the word limit, are the all the punctuations correct?!?

This vicious cycle of dehydration causing stress and stress causing dehydration can be broken by just cultivating a habit of drinking more water in a day. Easier said than done, huh? Once this habit is developed, it is a smooth ride forward.

word image 8
Congratulations! You have successfully read the seven tips that will take your business to the next level.
You have earned yourself a helpful bonus tip!

word image 8Congratulations! You have successfully read the seven tips that will take your business to the next level.
You have earned yourself a helpful bonus tip!

TAKE TO JOURNALING: 

To take your mindfulness journey a notch up, you should start journaling. Daylio – Diary, Journal, Mood Tracker and Nutrition: Food Journal, Water & Weight Tracking are some journaling apps best suited for beginners. Adopting journaling as a habit will help you keep track of your mood, mind and health. It will help you with self-reflection and self-discovery. As far as the diet aspect is concerned, keeping a tab of what goes inside your body will only help mindful eating. You just have to let your creative juices flow-design a meal plan, set a workout goal or track your mood. After a month of journaling, when you go back to your notes, we assure you that you will only feel proud to see how far you have come!

Daylio – Diary, Journal, Mood Tracker 
Nutrition: Food Journal, Water & Weight Tracking

Disclaimer: We do understand that there is no one set diet that works for all body types. Everybody has a different metabolism rate and reacts differently to varied forms of stimulus. The nature of the article is suggestive. We advise the reader to consult a nutritionist or a dietician before making any major changes in their diet, especially if there are certain medical conditions that the reader suffers from.

TAKE TO JOURNALING: 

To take your mindfulness journey a notch up, you should start journaling. Daylio – Diary, Journal, Mood Tracker and Nutrition: Food Journal, Water & Weight Tracking are some journaling apps best suited for beginners. Adopting journaling as a habit will help you keep track of your mood, mind and health. It will help you with self-reflection and self-discovery. As far as the diet aspect is concerned, keeping a tab of what goes inside your body will only help mindful eating. You just have to let your creative juices flow-design a meal plan, set a workout goal or track your mood. After a month of journaling, when you go back to your notes, we assure you that you will only feel proud to see how far you have come!

Daylio – Diary, Journal, Mood Tracker 
Nutrition: Food Journal, Water & Weight Tracking

Disclaimer: We do understand that there is no one set diet that works for all body types. Everybody has a different metabolism rate and reacts differently to varied forms of stimulus. The nature of the article is suggestive. We advise the reader to consult a nutritionist or a dietician before making any major changes in their diet, especially if there are certain medical conditions that the reader suffers from.

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