Eat more when you’re stressed? You’re not alone. In fact, all that stress eating can pack on an additional 11 pounds each year! Most of us are quick to turn to sugar and refined carbs the second tension gets high. When we feel overwhelmed, we seek out comforting food, giving it the power to make us feel better…and then worse.
A national survey conducted by NPR, Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that most changes to diet occurs during stressful times. And these changes aren’t always for the best.
The foods we choose under stress, like chocolate or simple carbohydrates such as bagels or white pasta, often take you on a hormonal roller coaster: surging and crashing hormone and blood sugar levels which leaves you more susceptible to new stresses than when you started. It’s a vicious cycle that must be stopped! (more…)
A number of factors in your life can contribute to your mood. Work, family, romantic relationships, and even the weather all play a part in how you feel. But what about weight loss or weight gain? Does how much you weigh affect how you feel? And does how you feel affect how much you weigh?
Speaking from experience, during the times that I am at a healthy and fit weight I’m in a happier mood than the times when I am heavier. Part of it has to do with how I feel about my body—better, obviously—but scientists think there’s more to it than that. Much of why you feel better at a healthier weight has to do with what you’re doing to reach those goals.
First off, exercise produces endorphins, so when you’re working out your brain rewards you with these feel-good chemicals. When you eat healthy foods like leafy greens, healthy fats, and lean proteins, you feed your brain nutrients that have been linked to happiness. (Conversely, when you eat trans fats and other bad for you foods your mood suffers.) And then there’s something to the idea of sticking with healthy habits, something that scientists call self-efficacy, which tends to lead to a boost in self-esteem and mood. (more…)
Too busy to get busy? There are some pretty impressive health benefits associated with regular rolls in the hay that make it well worth incorporating sex into your life as frequently as possible. It turns out, getting lucky can help you get healthy! We’ll explain how.
It’s heart-healthy. A Scottish study found that couples who had sex more often over a two-week period did their heart a favor by lowering blood-pressure levels. Blood pressure was monitored during stressful situations, and those who got it on regularly showed their heart didn’t have to work extra hard to move blood around their bodies.
It’s a stress-buster. When your brain registers that you’re having an orgasm, it releases the hormone oxytocin (also called the “love hormone”), which has been shown to have a role in reducing stress. And even just physical contact, without doing the actual deed, provides benefits; A study out of Northwestern University showed that couples who kiss and hug are far less tense and have more elevated moods than those who don’t. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
Need that morning cup of coffee or tea to “really” wake up? If so, you’ve developed a caffeine tolerance. That basically means that caffeine has lost its edge—instead of giving you an extra boost of energy, it simply brings you to the level where you’d be without caffeine. My caffeine conclusion: I have more energy overall without it.
This isn’t just my own personal observation—research backs me up. Caffeine (coffee, tea, or caffeine pills) may offer an immediate spike in mood and alertness, but it doesn’t last. In fact, caffeine could make you feel little more tired and moody later in the day, according to research at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. (more…)