With the constant stresses of work, family, and managing your diabetes, life can be overwhelming. When this happens, you may turn to food to relieve your stress. But stressed eating only spells trouble for the diabetic diet.
Watch for signs of stress, then breathe and take a step back from the refrigerator. These five tips can help you stay strong.
5 ways to work past stressed-out eating:
1. Have a healthy snack already prepared. When you're stressed, you don't always think clearly—or rationally. That's why it's helpful to prepare healthy-sized snacks in the morning or at night for the next day. Vegetables are a great choice! Chop up broccoli, red peppers, or mushrooms.
2. Avoid fast food. Do yourself a favor and skip the drive thru. These foods, although convenient, are nothing but trouble. If you must stop at a fast food joint, look for healthier options, such as yogurt and fruit or a salad (just skip the dressing).
3. Practice yoga. Hitting the yoga mat several times a week can be a game-changer. Research has shown that yoga helps alleviate stress, burns calories, and makes people happier. In fact, one hour of asanas—a sequence of standing, sitting, and balancing poses—helped yogis raise their levels of the brain chemical GABA, a natural relaxation agent, by 27 percent, according to a study from Boston University School of Medicine and McLean Hospital.
4. Meditate. Similar to yoga, meditation helps quiet the stresses in life through focused breathing and mindful relaxation. Establishing a mind-body connection may help you make smarter decisions when it comes to impulsive eating.
5. Exercise. Physical activity is a terrific stress reliever. Not only does it kickstart your metabolism, but workouts like going for a run or a bike ride also help clear the mind. Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes on five or more days of the week. Walk briskly, mow the lawn, dance, or swim. Just get active!