When stressed out or anxious, some people turn to food as a way to comfort themselves. However, what may be soothing at the time can make you feel worse – and weigh more – in the end. If you tend to turn to food as a way to cope with a stressful situation, consider the following seven tips:
1. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol (and don’t smoke) when stressed. These can heighten or prolong your anxiety and worsen its side effects.
2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This can help quell the pangs of an empty stomach and promote a healthy digestive system.
3. Keep your blood sugar levels stable by eating several small, nutritious meals rather than three large ones.
4. Include omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, salmon and freshly ground flaxseed into your daily meals and snacks.
5. When eating, take out only one portion and then close and put away the package. Leaving it open on the counter leads to continued munching.
6. Incorporate foods rich in magnesium, which helps relax muscles, into your diet. True whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds are good sources.
7. Above all, be aware of your eating habits. If you find yourself eating to combat stress, limit yourself to small portions, enough so you can savor the taste or texture. Then go for a walk or practice meditating: both are proven, healthier ways to address stress.
Anxiety can make menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes worse, so try to reduce any stress that you can. Stress can put a real strain on your adrenal glands too, so support your nervous system with a healthy, balanced, diet and regular exercise.
Hormone imbalance can be helped with bioidentical progesterone as that is a natural way to calm the nerves, and can help with sleep as it relaxes the mind.