Is Food a Stressor For You?
Is Food a Stressor For You?
By: Jenna Davidson
Food is more than fuel.
It’s how you connect with others, it can be a great source of comfort and nutrition for your body. But food can also make you emotional, stressed out and even tense.
So this begs the question: Is food a stressor for you?
If You Answered Yes, Here’s What to Do:
ASK YOURSELF “WHY?”
This starts with vulnerability. Of course, that’s way easier said than done, especially if you’ve had a love/hate relationship with food for your entire life. With that being said, find a trusted coach, counselor, or therapist who you can actually open up with. From there, you can start to dig deeper and to look into why food has become a stressor for you. Maybe a parent gave food as a reward when you were growing up. It’s possible (and somewhat cliché) that food has always “been there” for you. There are so many complex scenarios that play into why food has more of a meaning to you. Figure them out and unlock a piece of the puzzle.
Being mindful while eating plays a major role in cracking the code on your personal portion sizes. If you’re eating slowly (chewing well, smelling and tasting your food, enjoying every bite), you’re more likely to be in tune with your body’s hunger and fullness cues. That in turn means the perfect portion for you, every time! A few more of our favorite tips to mindfulness are: take some full breaths before you start eating (and when you start to feel yourself speeding up), sit in a relaxed setting, put your utensils down between every bite, commune with others while dining and get rid of distractions such as the television, phone or computer. Focus on your food and the actual act of eating.
An offshoot to mindfulness while nourishing yourself is to find joy in your life! These go hand-in-hand because finding interests you love, helps to calm your nervous system (assuming these hobbies aren’t sky diving or swimming with great whites). If your body is living in a more parasympathetic state, that means food is being better digested and the nutrients in that food are being assimilated more. Huge points for overall health and maybe even your attitude toward food!
CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
Losing control is a major concern of those who’ve struggled with weight issues for their entire life. But what would it be like if you allowed yourself some flexibility? To eat whatever you wanted 20% of the time, and to enjoy that food guilt-free? Sounds awesome, right? Falling off the “good food/diet/nutrition work” wagon happens when you’re being too strict. Binging or overeating can also be an obstacle when you refuse to cut yourself some slack. Be as best you can 80% of the time and then let your hair down and treat yourself for the other 20! You deserve to find a good balance between all the healthy stuff and a few greasy meals complete with several dipping sauces and chilled beer.
So there’s your guide to living a healthy and happy life with food! Bon Appetit!
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