Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Food Ideas

Comfort Food and Stress

By Mike Bruno
It's no secret that when things aren't exactly going our way, we tend to crave fattening, familiar food. Is there a better salve for a long, frustrating day than a bowl of ice cream or a nice bacon cheeseburger? Whatever your particular culinary weakness, all humans seem to take solace in some type of comfort food when feeling stressed or upset.

A University of California San Francisco (UCSF) study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicated that this urge to splurge might actually serve a biological purpose: Eating high-calorie comfort food may have the power to make you feel less stressed out.

Stressful events, like getting cut off in traffic, release hormones that make us feel agitated and angry. Although the body has a natural inhibiting system that in time will diminish the stress, a continuous stream of threats, scares or frustration — like driving in rush hour traffic every day of the week — can override the shutdown function. This creates a state of chronic stress, and a feeling of perpetual tension.

The UCSF research found that calorie-laden foods can interrupt that cycle and help shut the stress down. It also found that only the real thing will do. The study explains that substituting low-calorie options — like nonfat frozen yogurt for full-fat ice cream — won't do the trick. Your taste buds can tell the difference and as a result, the low-cal foods aren't as comforting.

Of course, limitless chocolate also presents its own series of problems. How do you get the stress-reducing benefits of full-fat favorites and still keep your waistline slim? The key is portion control. "Instead of eating four pieces of fried chicken, just eat one and really enjoy it," says Roberta Anding, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Realize that [if you're stressed,] you're going to eat some high-fat food, but balance out the rest of your plate with things like a baked potato with salsa or some steamed veggies with dill."

So when the realities of life make you feel like you're going to tear your hair out, it's alright, helpful even, to indulge in that macaroni and cheese. Don't feel like you've made some irreparable mistake. Enjoy it in moderation and relax. It's your body's natural way of calming you down.

2 Comments:

At 6:25 PM , Blogger Jesus Freak =P said...

well, if that's normal behavior for most people (indulging in junk food when they're stressed or what not), i'm pretty weird then. I'm just about the opposite. Mostly my diet has been junk food, but the last few months i've gotten better. when i'm stressed out or bored etc. though, I tend to crave healthy foods like apples, or bananas... stuff like that... but I guess it's just like me to be the odd one out. Have a GREAT day!!!!!

Amanda

 
At 2:19 AM , Blogger Lowly Scribe said...

Interesting post. Strangely, I'm similar to the first person to comment. When I'm stressed, I feel much better when I take the time to eat better. In my case it adds to my stress if I knowingly and deliberately eat something that's rotten for me.

Cheers,
LS

 

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