When betrayed, rejected or abused by a loved one, stress can become a part of your life. The stress can have serious adverse effects on health as you focus on the pain you are going through. Three main health areas impacted when stressed are your eating habits, your exercising routine and sleeping schedules. You either eat less or turn to comfort foods when in pain. You turn into isolation and stop exercising altogether or you excessively exercise to the point of punishment. Your sleeping habits change when stressed; you either sleep little as you think of the pain that you just went through resulting in you sleep a lot as a way to hide yourself from the world. As you focus on rebuilding your self –worth after changing the way you think and surrounding yourself with positive thinking people it’s time you focus on a healthy lifestyle
The importance of focusing on a healthy lifestyle in rebuilding your self-esteem
A healthy lifestyle:-
- Improves your mood and general wellbeing. When living healthy, you generally feel good, you look your best and become more energetic because your immune system is boosted.
- Improves you mental health. You feel better psychologically when you live a healthy lifestyle.
- Reduces the risk of certain diseases. As you heal emotionally after the painful experience caused by those you love, focusing on physical health reduces the risk of contracting diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and diseases caused by over- weight or under weight.
- Helps prevent excess weight gain: – Excess weight gain has an effect on your health. Cardiovascular diseases are associated with excess weight gain. Therefore it is important to focus on a healthy lifestyle.
The impact of stress on your eating habits
Bad news about a spouse cheating on you, or rejection by a spouse, emotional and physical abuse, all result in stress. When stressed you either lose your appetite and eat little or you turn to comfort foods and eat excessively to ease the pain and hurt. Eating little can result excessive weight loss on one hand, and eating the wrong foods for a prolonged period can result in excessive weight gain. Firstly let’s focus on weight loss.
Weight Loss: –After my spouse cheated on me and later rejected me, I lost my appetite, and started eating very little. I would spend the whole day without eating at all, I completely lost my appetite. In the process I lost weight, and went four sizes down. Fortunately my BMI was not affected as it remained normal. But there can be instances where you lose your weight below the normal weight, and it is important you gain weight as being underweight poses the following health risks:-
10 major risks of having an underweight body
- The immune system weakens because you are eating less than the required amount of nutrients.
- The body can develop anaemia
- You may develop Irregular monthly periods (for women)
- Vitamin deficiency exposing the body to infections
- The fertility can be easily affected
- Bone loss
- The body can develop kidney diseases
- Serious fatigue
- Dry skin and thinning of hair
- Mental development issues.
The risks caused by underweight can be immediately mitigated by adopting the following eating diet and eating strategies.
8 Safe foods to gain weight after weight loss caused by stress
- Homemade Protein smoothes: – Protein smoothes are highly nutritious and are a quick way to help you gain weight. Click Here for various recipes on highly nutritious protein smoothes.
- Milk: – Milk is a good source of calcium and protein. Full cream milk has been used for decades as a weight gainer and muscle builder. It is recommended that you drink at least 2 glasses of milk with a snack or meal in order to help you gain weight.
- Rice: – Rice is rich in carbohydrates and fibre. It is calorie dense and can help you gain high carbs and calories from a single serving. The rice can be served with protein foods and healthy fats.
- Nuts: – These two foods are a perfect source when you are looking at gaining weight in a short period. A handful of nuts contain 7 grams of protein and 18 grams of healthy fat. Two handfuls of nuts per day with a meal or a snack can quickly add hundreds of calories required.
- Potatoes & Starches: – Potatoes including sweet potatoes are cost effective and a very good source to add extra calories. Other natural starches that will add the extra calories are corn, buckwheat, squash and winter root vegetables, beans and legumes.
- Whole grain breads: – This is a good source of carbohydrates and fibres. Consumption of whole grain bread can help you gain weight. The bread can be combined with eggs, meat and cheese.
- Dried Fruits: – Not only do dry fruits prevent antioxidants and micro nutrients, dried fruits are also a healthy source of calories that can help you gain weight.
- Avocados: – Avocados are rich in healthy fats and are fairly calorie dense, therefore a great source to help gain weight. One large avocado weighing 200 grams provides 322 calories, 29 grams of fat and 17 grams of fibre.
Other foods to eat include healthy cereals, cereal bars, dark chocolate, full fat yoghurt all help you gain weight in short period of time.
It is important to monitor your weight when trying to gain weight. Once your Body Mass Index (BMI) falls within the normal range; focus on foods that help you maintain your weight at the same level.
Why you gain weight during a stressful experience
When you are betrayed, rejected or abused the body can crave for comfort foods to alleviate the stressful situation. Researchers have confirmed that some ingredients in the comfort foods work to reduce stress and help decrease stress hormones. Although it has been scientifically proven that comfort foods make you feel better when stressed, excessive consumption of such foods can cause piles of sugar round the waist and increase the risk of obesity. Therefore it is important to know that comfort foods should only help you in the short term because prolonged consumption of these comfort foods can lead to heart diseases, abdominal fat, diabetes and all other diseases related to excess weight gain.
Ways to lose and manage your weight after a stressful experience
The below professional guidelines will help you lose weight by focusing on eating right and burning the extra calories gained during the time when you were in emotional pain.
How to eat right to maintain your weight
As you rebuild your self-esteem and focus on healthy living, it is important you eat right every day. Eating right is vital to maintaining a healthy weight and keeping good energy levels. Remember the formula in maintaining weight is to burn calories that you would have consumed. Therefore it is important that you adopt the following strategies in eating right in order to maintain your weight and live healthy:-
Strategy 1:– Choose the right foods to eat
Aim to eat a balanced diet in every meal. The Way to go organisation recommends the attached guidelines in choosing the right foods to eat.. It is important that you focus on the 5 food groups in right quantities. The 5 groups include Protein, Healthy fats, Carbohydrates, Fibre, Calcium & Vitamins.
- Protein: Is vital in boosting energy levels, while supporting mood and cognitive function. Too much protein can be harmful as it can cause kidney diseases. It is healthier to focus on plant based protein each day than animal products. Click here to learn more on the proportions of protein to be consumed per serving
- Carbohydrates: – One of the main sources of energy. It is recommended that the sources of carbs should be from vegetables, whole grains and fruit rather than sugars and refined carbs that have lost their nutritional value in the process of been refined. Learn more from www.healthy –eating/choosing healthy carbs/
- Fat: – Bad fats can wreck your diet and increase your risk of certain diseases; good fats protect your heart and brain. Bad fats include saturated fats that usually come from animal produce. Saturated fats are difficult for the body to breakdown and can potentially lead to heart disease. Unsaturated fats usually come from fish oil and vegetables. However you can reduce the fat in food by grilling or boiling food instead of frying, choosing low fat meat, using vegetable oil to cook instead of animal fat and replacing meat servings with oily fish, nuts or legumes.
- Fibre: – Foods high in dietary fibres that include grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans can help your digestive system, and lower the risk for stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Fibre also helps your skin and contributes in weight loss. You should eat at least 21 to 38 grams of fibre per day for a healthy diet.
- Calcium and Vitamin: – Calcium is crucial for strengthening and maintaining the bone structure. Calcium also regulates the heart rhythm and helps maintain the nervous system. Lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis and lead to anxiety, sleeping difficulties and depression.
Strategy 2:-Manage the size of portions eaten:-
It is one thing to choose the right foods, and it is another thing to choose the right portions of the foods chosen. AHA gives guidelines on the proportions of foods to be eaten per serving, which depends on age, gender and weight. Taking cognisance of how much you eat can make a difference in obesity and maintaining a healthy weight. Serve your meals on smaller plates or bowls .If you do not feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy greens or eat a fruit.
Strategy 3: Eat fresh foods and avoid processed foods
Fresh foods are nutrient rich while processed foods are energy rich with added preservatives, dyes, fats and sugars. Whilst fresh foods are a good source of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, processed foods have little to no nutritional value as most nutrients are lost during the processing of the foods.
Strategy 3:- Limit added sugars
Natural sugars found in fruit and lactose is the best sugars as these are natural. Adding sugar to foods and drinks ONLY enhances the flavour but adds little to no nutritional value.
You might have been eating too much sugar in cookies and cakes to ease the emotional pain you were going through. Now that you are focusing on rebuilding your self-worth and focus on a healthy life style, swap the cookies, ice cream and cake for fruits. Limit the intake of sweet sodas and alcohol intake. It is recommended that alcohol intake is reduced to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Strategy 4:- Reduce the intake of sodium
Sodium found in salt is directly linked to High blood pressure, because it increases water retention. By limiting the intake of processed foods, you also reduce the intake of salt in your diet. For flavour, try and replace salt with herbs, such as garlic, rosemary, paprika, basil and other condiments. Also increase the intake of potassium which counteracts the harmful effects of salt. Foods such as bananas, butternut squash and tuna are good sources of potassium.
Strategy 5:- Prepare more of your meals
Cooking more of your meals, gives you enough control to monitor what you eat. You can easily choose the right foods to cook, avoid chemical additives, unhealthy fats and added sugars. Take out foods can leave you feeling tired, bloated and irritable, and add symptoms of stress and depression.
Strategy 6: Read food labels:-
When shopping in grocery shops, it is important to read the food labels, and take careful notice of the ingredients used in the manufacture of the foods. Try and avoid foods with large amounts of sugar, or unhealthy fats.
Strategy 7:- Drink plenty of water
Water is vital in flushing the systems of waste products and toxins. Drinking less than the recommended amount of water can cause dehydration, tiredness, low energy and headaches. You are likely to make healthier food choices if you are well hydrated.
A healthy lifestyle is vital in rebuilding your self-esteem, and this starts with developing good eating habits. Other related articles on healthy living include:-
- Developing good relaxing and sleeping habits to alleviate stress.
Should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to leave the questions below. Remember eating right is key in living a Healthy Lifestyle.