• Denine Rogers

The Link Between Stress and Nutrition Deficiencies

We are all under a lot of stress lately, but stress can sometimes lead to unhealthy lifestyle patterns, which in turn can cause more stress. This stress can also make us choose poor food choices. If you feel that stress has affected your food choice, then you may want to ask yourself this: When I am feeling overwhelmed, what do I find myself doing? Below is a list of some of the following things that you may see yourself doing:

  • Drinking Too Much Coffee: People often find themselves using coffee drinks to jump-start themselves in the morning. But when stress arrives some people can start a pattern of all-day coffee drinking often starts.

  • Eating The Wrong Foods: Increase levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, causes stressed people tend to crave foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Ask yourself about this: How often have you turned to your favorite chocolate chip cookies after a long stressful day?

  • Skipping Meals: Have you ever found yourself rushing out of the house without a healthy breakfast or realizing you're starving in the late afternoon because you didn't eat enough?

  • Mindless Munching: Stress makes us prone to emotional eating, when we eat when we aren't aren't hungry, or eat foods that are bad for us. Have you found yourself mindless snacking on junk food, or eating when you aren't hungry, because of stress?

  • Forgetting Water: Alot of people have busy lives and can easily forget to drink your water. A good amount of Americans are no drinking any water and get water only from soda and coffee. Are you drinking eight full glasses per day or ever four glasses?

  • Fast Food: It is so easy to just drive through a fast food place or go to a restaurant than to go home and cook something. People these days eat at home less than in generations past. These types of foods can get expensive and become unhealthy.

  • Crash Diets: Because of weight gain from stress, some people intentionally eat less food than they need, or try dangerous fad diets in order to lose the excess weight. Diets that aren't balanced with fruits and vegetables, protein and healthy carbohydrates can often be bad for your health in the long run, even if they look attractive short term.

There are several things you can do to make healthy choices and not use food to help relieve stress. Next week, I will discuss 10 Ways to Assure Better Nutrition!

What do you do when you are stress out?

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Scott, E. (2007). Stress management. Stress and Nutrition: The Link between Stress and Nutrition Deficiencies. Retrieved February, 3, 2010.