Mindful eating is as important as the foods you ingest After all, the food has to go through the digestive system and stress can cause various symptoms such as constipation, lose of appetite and stomach upsets. Studies have shown that stress effects the immunity system, eating appetite and the type of foods we eat. According to Harvard Medical School, Stress also seems to affect food preferences. Numerous studies, though many have involved animals, have shown that physical or emotional distress increases the intake of food high in fat, sugar, or both. Stress elicits different responses in people and much depends on if it is short or long term stress.
Here are tips to get the most out of stress-less eating:
- Stay connected. Use apps such as Zoom, Facetime and Skype to have a family meal together. You can even virtually cook together. Have a conversation and enjoy each other’s company through connected apps.
- Use grocery lists. Keep in check what is needed for your weekly shopping trip. Grocery lists will help avoid high fat and sugar items. You will save money and time through a grocery list. Make running to the grocery store for a forgotten item less frequent.
- Be on schedule. A schedule is less stressful for everyone in the household. Know when, where, time to eat so that family members can know what to expect. Be consistent.
- Enjoy that comfort food! Don’t deprive yourself of a treat. Plan to enjoy that food that brings you comfort but manage how often you consume. Be conscious that processed foods like baked goods contain a lot of simple carbohydrates. This creates a yo-yo effect on blood sugar, which can drive anxiety and worsen moods.
- Manage your environment. Turn off the tv and enjoy the simple pleasures like the taste of the food without distractions. A quiet environment will help eliminate external stresses and help keep focus on the taste and digestion of food. Silence can promote lower blood pressure and boost immune system.
- Eat somewhere with a natural setting. Have a picnic and enjoy nature’s setting. Enjoy a family outing or time alone in a park, backyard or beach. Foster an environment conducive to not overeating. Eating slowly is better for digestion and food intake.