It’s a well-documented fact that stress can cause you to gain weight. The simple act of stressing over anything triggers a reaction in your brain and your body. Stress hormones like cortisol are released, and your body may crave comfort foods in order to stimulate the production of brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin to calm you down and restore your sense of well-being.
Everyone experiences stress periodically. That’s just part of lief. It’s when those stressful thoughts become constant and even obsessive, that they can actually interfere with both our goals for weight loss and overall health.
Any constant thought that produces stress is included here. E worry and stress over whether the food you`re eating is unhealthy or fattening may actually cause you to eat more of the very foods you are trying so hard to avoid! This becomes a vicious cycle.
To break the cycle, you must avoid negative emotions like fear, anxiety and guilt, which negatively affect your brain chemistry. Rather than slipping into worry about your food choices – here are my suggestions:
Begin to look at the food you eat as high quality fuel for your body. If you make sure you have real food available to choose from, it simplifies things.
Eating real food (fresh, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, beans) nourishes you down to the cellular level. Eating processed foods fills your stomach temporarily, but you find that hunger for more surfacing more often.
Pay attention to your body’s hunger signals – and fuel your body when you are truly hungry. The difference between emotional eating and true hunger is that true hunger usually comes on gradually and emotional hunger is immediate.
No food is off limits. Never put the thought in your mind that there is a food you can “never have.” You can eat anything you want – just not every day or even every week! Balance and moderation are the keys.
There is therefore NO condemnation! If you go off your meal plan, it’s not the end of the world. One meal or one day does not ruin all your efforts! Simply forgive yourself, be aware of your thoughts and emotions and count it a learning experience and move on!