The coronavirus scare has caused many of us to eat more than we should. When the number of active cases in our county jumps, we grab our favorite comfort food. Our reaction to fear can cause us to gain unwanted weight. We can fight our love handles by purchasing healthy snacks and calling upon God to give us peace.
Stress tends to make people crave carbohydrates, sugary comfort foods, and junk food. These types of processed foods give you a sugar rush, but then cause your blood sugar to crash—making you feel rotten. Not to mention the feelings from the blood-sugar fluctuation cause even more anxiety.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Stress Eating
Learn the connection between your eating habits and emotions. Replace unhealthy food choices with healthy snacks and positive behaviors. When the craving for comfort food arises, choose to eat one of these nutritious snacks:
- Apple with Nut Butter: Slice a green apple, which is low in sugar, and add almond or cashew butter to each slice. It tastes sweet; conversely, the almond butter is high in protein. Both the apple and nut butter provide fiber and fill you up.
- Chocolate-Covered Nuts: Melt 70-percent dark chocolate in a pan on the stove and add different types of nuts until well coated with the chocolate. Place mounds of nut clusters on wax paper. After an hour they harden. Keep in an airtight container on the counter or refrigerator for a week. Nuts contain fiber and are filling.
- Homemade Granola: Make homemade granola from organic oats. For breakfast, I add fresh berries to a bowl of granola. I include my favorite granola recipe and over fifty healthy recipes in my #1 Amazon best-seller, 7 Steps to Get Off Sugar and Carbohydrates.
- Date with Nuts: Sparingly eat one date along with ten pecans or almonds. Dates are high in natural sugar, so you only need a smidgen to attain the sweetness. Don’t eat too many dates, which are high in sugar, but instead fill up on the nuts, which are high in protein.
- Healthy Dip: Buy or whip up a flavorful dip like hummus or guacamole to eat with a platter of fresh vegetables (not chips or pita bread).
- Boiled Eggs: Boil eggs and keep them in the refrigerator for a snack.
- Low-Sugar Fruit: Eat one fresh, raw serving of low-glycemic fruit per day. Low-glycemic fruits include green apples, berries, cherries, pears, plums, and grapefruit.
- Nuts: Eat raw nuts.
- Lemon Water: Squeeze a slice of lemon and two drops of stevia into a glass of water. It is like drinking fresh lemonade.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Curb sweet cravings by adding a teaspoon of raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in a cup of water with a couple of drops of stevia.
Social isolation is also causing boredom and mindless eating. We munch on something without being hungry. When a person is bored, she may look in the refrigerator or pantry but can’t find anything appealing. If this happens to you, first drink two glasses of water, as you may be thirsty and don’t realize it. Next, your soul may be longing for a connection with God, so spend time with him. Journal your thoughts.
When you recognize you are about to emotionally eat, try this instead:
- Pray and express your emotions and ask God to transform your mind
- Recite a Bible verse out loud.
- Go on a walk
- Call a friend
- Put in a Christian yoga DVD
These techniques will help you break the cycle of emotional eating. Each time you recognize emotional eating, use these tips so you can disengage the connection between food and feelings.
Another positive coping strategy for dealing with stress is exercise. It burns off adrenaline and improves sleep. Do you engage in relaxation techniques such as Christian yoga or meditation? Yoga and meditation calm the mind and body. I created several Christian yoga products including DVDs, books, and card decks available at Christianyoga.com.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
By Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS