May 19, 2013
Healthy Comfort Foods for a Stressful Day
Picture this: You fought with your mother over the phone, went off to work in a huff, slammed your finger in the copy machine, found a dent in your car when you came out to the parking lot, and discovered that your ten-year old neighbor let his dog leave a mess on the front porch (which you just so happened to step in). Your bills are overdue, and your two best friends canceled on your movie night so you’re stuck with extra tickets that you can’t sell back.
It sounds like a pretty stressful day, doesn’t it?
Just visualizing the scenario is enough to make anyone want to reach for the nearest bag of chips, crash on the couch, and just let the world melt away. Unfortunately, emotional eating offers only temporary gratification, and the extra calories can pack on the pounds faster than you can burn them off. So how can you find comfort without blowing your diet?
The following tips and tricks may be able to give you the extra boost you need to get through a tough day.
Top 5 Healthy Comfort Foods
Rather than having a date with a pint of ice cream, opt for some of these healthy foods instead. Low in calories and high in nutrition, these tasty foods are full of flavor that can satisfy your sweet tooth or curb your cravings for carbs.
Chicken Noodle Soup: Low-sodium chicken noodle soup can warm you from the inside out. With a tasty blend of vegetables, chicken, and pasta, this healthy meal can offer soothing comfort for the soul without the extra calories.
Fruit Smoothies: If stress has your temperature rising, cool it off with a fruit smoothie. Combine juice, yogurt, and fruit, this delicious treat can gratify your need for something sugary without the extra sugar.
Yogurt with Fruit: Whether refrigerated or frozen, low-fat yogurt can be the healthy alternative to ice cream. Add a little fruit for extra flavor and you’ve got yourself an irresistible dessert for very few calories.
Oatmeal: In order to start your day off right, a bowl of oatmeal may be just what you need to keep the mood swings at bay. Oatmeal is rich in fiber that can lower your cholesterol levels and even improve your digestive health. Slice up a few peaches or add in a handful of raisins and you have a hearty way to battle the blues.
Potatoes: Don’t let misinformation keep you from enjoying the benefits of potatoes. Potatoes contain manganese and vitamin B6 which can improve your mood by increasing the production of serotonin.
Tips for Combating Stress
Additionally, you don’t have to fight your mood with food. Any of the following techniques can help you relieve stress and tension, so you can still lose weight without blowing your diet.
• Go for a walk or jog (exercise to burn off nervous tension)
• Participate in deep breathing exercises
• Vent your frustration in a journal
• Call a friend
• Take a long relaxing bath
• Listen to soothing music
Many people eat to relieve stress rather than dealing directly with the problem. Rather than turning to food for blowing off steam, you may want to precisely pinpoint the source of your stress in order to find out the best solution for overcoming the next hurdle. If you frequently find yourself turning to food as a distraction from stress, you might want to consider seeking therapy with a professional mental health provider.
Additionally, a quality the best weight loss pills on the market may be able to let you indulge with your favorite foods without packing on the extra pounds. When used with a healthy diet and regular exercise, diet supplements can be a powerful tool in the fight against fat.