Monday, August 02, 2010

4 Proven Ways to Stop Stress Eating

It's common to respond to stress by distracting yourself with your favorite comfort foods. But now that you're following the South Beach Diet lifestyle, you know that turning to common comfort foods (processed chips, white potatoes, sugary sweets, etc.) may cause swings in your blood sugar that could cause cravings and lead to weight gain. Here are some healthier ways to cope:

  1. Stick with the program. If you follow the guidelines set forth by the South Beach Diet, you'll be less likely to have cravings and, as a result, you'll be less likely to turn to food when you face stress. Plus, snacks are encouraged on the plan, so you won't feel deprived.
  2. Keep your hands busy. Find something else to do with your hands besides eat. Keep the daily crossword nearby, knock off some chores, or distract yourself by calling your friends or family. (Don't use the kitchen phone!)
  3. Be ready for stress snack-attacks. It's worth repeating that snacks are encouraged on the South Beach Diet, so keep the right foods on hand. Make sure you've got a supply of crunchy vegetables like celery sticks, green and red pepper strips, cauliflower buds, and broccoli florets — you can even cut them up and stash them in resealable bags in your veggie drawer. Feel the urge to dip? Try hummus or eggplant dip, or a bit of spreadable, low-fat cheese (six grams of fat or less per ounce). Also, stock your cupboards and desk drawers with nonperishable South Beach Diet–friendly items like nuts; high-fiber, whole-grain crackers and cereals; dried apricots; and even cans or pouches of water-packed tuna.
  4. Work out. Exercise is not only a great way to stay fit and manage your weight, it's also a fantastic stress reliever. If going to the gym isn't your thing, clear your mind with a brisk walk around the neighborhood. 
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