Stress – let’s face it !
Stress is often described as a person’s physical or emotional response to demands or pressures that one may experience from time to time.
We all react differently, not every one has the capacity or the ability to cope with stress. A general reaction when it comes to eating habits during times of stress is developing poor eating patterns leading to weight gain, health issues and added stress.
During stressful times we tend to ignore our food intake pattern and sleep, both of which are of prime importance in maintaining the energy levels to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
While looking to food as support we tend to choose easy options like takeaways, fast food, ready to eat meals and at times just skip meals.
While at times it is challenging to overcome the cause for stress, it is important that we control or manage our reaction to it by way of developing a good and healthy life pattern which includes a well balanced diet and good rest combined with some way of relaxation.
It is important not to skip meals, in fact it is a good idea to give your eating pattern a definite structure, eat five- six smaller meals / snacks and adhere to the pattern each day. This may prevent the stress caused due to hunger pangs usually from long gaps between meals.
Someone queried me that we have to eat less to lose weight, well this may not be completely true as eating less could lead to low energy levels if your meal plan is not nutritionally adequate, in addition this can lead to temptation for binge eating or digging in to junk food both of which are not desirable. The key is not eating less; it is eating balanced and eating it right.
Not having the time to eat should not be an excuse; one must make time to eat right. Be organised, be it your office or home; planning a day enables you to be mentally prepared to know what’s coming your way. Avoid eating while doing other activities as this may lead to overeating causing long term impacts on your well being.
Try and plan an activity of your choice, listening to music, watching TV, reading or even just cleaning can help relieving stress. Get your friends and family involved where possible, anything that you enjoy and that will increase your body’s movement is good.
If you are not exercising it is a good time to make a start when you are suffering from stress. People who exercise regularly are healthier, feel better and have better fitness levels which help in managing stress.
It is also essential to have adequate rest. It gives the body an opportunity to unwind and refresh. Yoga, meditation or deep breathing can also be great stress busters. Learning how to relax is really important for people experiencing stress. Overall be positive and soon the stress will disappear.