It goes without saying that it’s better to treat stress with laughter, exercise, bubble baths, friends (friends in bubble baths?), etc. than with food. But, let’s get realistic:
If you’re gonna stress-eat, do it right:
Avoid processed foods because they will make you feel worse. Research shows that after the initial, brief mood boost, processed foods actually contribute to depression and anxiety problems. Processed foods are those that came from a factory, not nature.
Eat low-glycemic. That way you have time to burn off the extra calories. High-glycemic foods will get stored as fat right away and also make you hungry again sooner.
Eat foods with natural mood-boosting properties.
So what should you eat when you are mentally hanging by a thread? Here are my top picks:
Pepitas–pumpkin seeds. Raw is healthier, but if you’re dying for something crunchy and salty, you can get them roasted and salted. Whole Foods has lots of spiced varieties that are low in salt.
Walnuts, almonds, peanuts–in the shell, so you’re forced to eat them slowly. Also, busy hands help calm the mind.
Nonfat yogurt with flax seeds, cocoa powder and stevia on top. A chocolately mess without the guilt.
Keep in mind that these are not low-calorie treats, but they are MUCH better than cookies, crackers, and all the other junk you might be contemplating in a moment of stress-induced weakness.
Here’s to a stress-free week,