Gain Control of Emotional Eating & Lose Weight
- physical health — eating too much food disrupts digestion and leads to weight gain
- mental health — we lose the skill to cope with emotions and stress without the help of food
5 Ways to Stop Emotional Eating
Have a Cinnamon Drink
Few people overeat chicken fillet or sandwiches with whole-grain bread in moments of stress: when we get emotional, we are drawn to sweets. This is partly due to biochemical processes in the body — stress increases the production of cortisol, whose level can be effectively reduced by insulin; that’s why the body persistently seeks sugar. With this information in mind, Susan Albers, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and author of Mindful Eating, recommends having cinnamon drinks at such times: This spice has been proven to normalize insulin levels, so add it to your tea or coffee in times of stress.
Go for a Walk
It has been recently proven by researchers from the state of Nebraska that a brisk 15-minute walk can help you deal with negative emotions and distract from thinking about food. Physical activity and fresh air bump up the production of endorphins, the happy hormones. Hard to believe it? Do your own experiment by going out in a bad mood.
Peel a Tangerine
The citrus scent (which can reduce stress on its own, according to research made by the Mayo Clinic), tedious finger work with both hands, unusual texture of the fruit — the process of peeling a tangerine has every chance to become your favorite meditation practice. Try to do it very slowly, focusing all your attention on the cleansing process. Keep your breath even. Make it deeper and calmer by controlling the length of your inhales and exhales.
Take a Bath with Fragrance Oils
This method, of course, does not work for those who are at risk of binge eating in the office. However, it will definitely be useful for everyone relying on a bucket of ice cream to de-stress after work.
Meditate with a Cup of Herbal Tea
Herbs offer a mild soothing effect, and their aroma is so pleasantly reminiscent of sunny summer days of holidays. Please make the most of it — allow 10 minutes for your tea-drinking, brew chamomile tea, and meditate. Enjoy the smell, feel the warmth of the cup with your fingers, study the color of the drink, and try to slightly cool it down by blowing (this is one of the clever ways to lengthen the exhale, which activates our parasympathetic nervous system).
Do not ignore these simple life hacks to prevent binge eating.
BONUS — 5 Best Protein Sources for Weight Loss
Protein foods are an important part of the diet for people looking to lose weight. It provides dieters with a long-lasting feeling of satiety, helps to maintain muscle, and takes more energy to digest than carbohydrates. The best sources of protein are animal products: meat, poultry, fish, seafood. But at times when your body wants a varied diet, even your most favorite meat dish can taste bland. And what about those people who adhere to a vegetarian lifestyle?
On top of the meat, Dr. Dang recommends including in the diet foods from other categories that are high in protein and low in calories. This way, you will actively lose weight in a comfortable way. Here are five different foods that meet these criteria.
118 kcal, 8.5 g protein per serving (1 cup). Legumes are known to be the best source of protein for vegetarians. A serving of cooked green peas contains 8.5 g of protein and provides the daily requirement of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant required to support a healthy immune system. Maintaining healthy vitamin C levels is especially important during the autumn and winter period, which is the season of flu and cold. With green peas, you can cook excellent salads and vegetable stews. It also tastes good in an omelet and scrambled eggs.
Of all leafy vegetables, spinach boasts the highest protein content. A cup of cooked spinach contains almost as much protein as a hard-boiled egg and far fewer calories. Throw in many antioxidants (vitamin A and vitamin C) and super healthy folic acid (vitamin B9) for a full picture. Some people cannot eat leafy vegetables raw, and the good news is they don't have to. Here is a simple method of mild thermal treatment that retains maximum vitamin content and makes for better calcium absorption from greens. Just add a handful of spinach in a hot dish – soup, scrambled eggs, pasta, or vegetable stew. You can also steam the spinach leaves.
112 kcal, 4.2 g protein per serving. When it comes to fruits, guava contains the highest protein. It is also rich in fiber. However, tropical fruits are particularly valuable because of their exceptionally high vitamin C content. Just think of it – one cup of guava fruit cubes has the same amount of ascorbic acid as seven medium-sized oranges. Introducing guava to your diet is simple: fruits can be eaten raw, added to fruit or vegetable salads, smoothies, and normal drinking water.
191 kcal, 7 g of protein in 2 tablespoons. We know that peanut butter is nutrient-rich and does not make our waistlines thinner. But this is only fair when you are eating a lot of nut butter. Not only will a couple of tablespoons of butter spread on morning toast not harm your figure, but it will also enrich your diet with essential proteins and fatty acids your body needs. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, regular consumption of peanut butter is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. But not all kinds of nut butter are good for your health. Such food may often contain too many harmful additives. Choose nut butter with the healthiest composition: no sugar, salt, and hydrogenated oil.
75 kcal, 10 g protein per 100-gram serving. Natural yogurt, which, on top of a high protein amount, is also packed with probiotics, should necessarily be on the diet list of everyone who is trying to lose weight. Probiotics help with active weight loss, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. The experiment, which lasted three months, involved two groups of obese women. All subjects followed a low-calorie diet, which either included Greek yogurt or not, depending on the group. As a result, women who ate yogurt lost almost twice as much weight as subjects in the control group.
Moreover, they kept actively losing weight even after the experiment ended, unlike women from another group. According to scientists, the point is that probiotics increase metabolism and, therefore, help you lose excess fat faster. As a bonus, they also give your immune system a boost. It is important though, that the product should be as natural as possible, without any additives.