Coping with Excess Food and Anxiety: Top Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

2023-12-11 12:22:53

The traditional Christmas and New Year holidays are generally associated with excess food and increased tensions typical of this time. Key tips from experts to cope with them and enjoy them with little stress. The product of the stress so typical of this time of year is anxiety, which leads many to food, especially in the face of the holidays. Thus, emotions and food are strongly linked, AIM recorded.

The traditional Christmas and New Year holidays are generally associated with overeating and increased tension. The traditional Christmas and New Year holidays are generally associated with overeating and increased tension.
In the last days of the year, the stress that accumulates in 12 months combines with the rush to finish pending things. And all of this is interspersed with the celebration of two important holidays that add to the increase in tension and possible poor nutrition or excess food that is often not so healthy for our body.

In dialogue with this Agency, the Nutrition graduate Valentina Franchi specified that it is key to a good diet towards the end of the year, “that there is no shortage of dried fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains and leafy vegetables, since they contain magnesium that by having relaxing properties, controls the cardiovascular rate and is a good dietary supplement to calm anxiety.”

Fruits (such as banana or pineapple) and a dose of animal protein (meat, fish or eggs) at dinner: contain tryptophan, an amino acid component of proteins, which is transformed into serotonin through complex metabolic cycles.

According to specialists, the product of the stress so typical of this time of year is anxiety, which leads many to food, especially in the face of the holidays. Thus, emotions and food are strongly linked.

“Anxiety increases levels of adrenaline, a neurotransmitter that reduces the ability to self-control and increases the tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors. Also, by decreasing serotonin, the tendency to desire sweet foods increases,” explained the nutrition specialist.

What to eat to avoid extra kilos

As is known, the gargantuan Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners still have much of the cultural baggage that immigrants brought to our province. Germans, French, Italians, Spaniards, among other currents that settled in Entre Ríos, left us foods that are still reproduced today in traditional dinners.

Excess calories were appropriate for the cold of the European winter, but never for the heat that characterizes the southern hemisphere in December. For this reason, healthy options are becoming more and more prevalent on the tables of Entre Ríos families.

The importance of the feeling of self-efficiency

Despite the flood of messages with good wishes, the end of the year confronts us with losses, family differences, exacerbated consumerism to escape distressing realities, excess food and the increase in tensions typical of this time. Advice from Psychology graduate Mariela Garabello on how to interpret and perceive the situations we face, and the way they will resonate in our actions.

The twelfth month of the year brings with it reasonable imbalances due to the way of life of most people. To the fatigue of a working year, when our energies diminish, other factors are added in the last two months of the calendar. And what’s worse, most people begin to take stock, which means adding stress.

The holidays, a problem?

The holidays in particular thus become a problem, since before they begin, we are fearing what their consequences will be, how much we will fall, how great our lack of control will be, and we turn these celebrations into a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

It is important to think about what difficulties we will face, tracing the solutions that we have tried and that have not worked for us, since these are the undermined path that we should not travel again. But it is even more important to return the focus to what works, has worked or could work, remembering that throughout the year we have managed to resolve similar situations. What strategies did they employ? What resources did they put into play then? What traits do you think you could use to better handle the situation? If a person has a particular skill, how can he apply it to overcome the problem? It’s simple: Recognizing that we know not only how we can solve the problem, but also how not to solve it.

Battle with ourselves

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However, many times the battle is with ourselves. Attorney Mariela Garabello told AIM that “many people tend to identify themselves with phrases like: I crave something sweet, sweets get the better of me, there are foods that I prefer not to try because once I start until I eat everything, I can’t stop.” . These phrases reflect in the person, among other things, states of anxiety that they tend to calm with food, as well as the well-known dichotomous all or nothing thinking. Anxiety about eating is an emotional state that often leads us to lose control and therefore to overeat and, what is worse, generally unhealthy foods.”

What to do to not succumb in the attempt

It is important to know what strategies to implement to avoid falling into binge eating that ruins the balance of the eating plan for the entire year, including:

Study the routine: It is important to know and anticipate day-to-day events to organize ourselves and act effectively, preventing any of them from generating anxiety that can later lead to a discharge with food.

Be aware of what we eat: Eat slowly, enjoy food, its flavor and the sensation it generates, because it allows us to reduce unconscious impulses, as well as differentiate satiety from anxiety.

Stay calm: Anxiety attacks last approximately 60 seconds; After that time it will begin to decrease… Let’s find a distraction! If we are at a dinner or a cocktail, let’s chat with a friend or go out dancing, for example.

Don’t abuse carbohydrates: Keep in mind that refined and processed carbohydrates, in particular, are addictive, so the more you consume, the more your body will crave them. When you consume them, choose natural ones, high in fiber such as oats or brown rice, which are necessary for the body, generate greater satiety and do not encourage overeating.

Do not skip meals: That is, do not spend more than two or three hours without eating, to avoid an evil alliance: hunger with anxiety. This is where binge eating usually occurs. If you have a party, reinforce this routine more.

Do not abandon exercise: Not only does it help general well-being, but it has been scientifically proven to lower the level of stress and anxiety, and improve mood by generating the release of endorphins.

Healthy proposals

Here we give you some options so you can dress your New Year’s Eve table with healthy dishes.

For the cold table

* Small tomatoes stuffed with tuna, vegetable mayonnaise and yamani rice.

* Rich and fun pinches. Cut a tergopol ball in half, wrap it in aluminum foil and stick wooden sticks or toothpicks with cheese and melon or ham, cherry tomatoes, lean cheese, and sweet and sour cucumber.

* Egg whites stuffed with tuna and ricotta.

* Melon slices with cooked or raw ham.

* Slices of lean cheese with tomato slices and basil leaves.

* Zucchini or chard omelet cut into squares.

* Colorful salads with fruits, tuna, ham, and/or lean cheeses.

Different salads

* Ensalada capresse;

* Salad of hearts of palm, green apple, celery, lettuce;

* Palm hearts and pineapple salad;

* Arugula salad, sundried tomatoes, sunflower seeds;

* Onion and orange salad;

* Green apple, celery, and lettuce salad;

* Salad of finely chopped cabbage, grated semi-raw beet, and grated apple;

The data

Do not constantly deprive yourself, but on the contrary, seek a balance in your diet. It is important to remember that you do not have to operate as all or nothing, because the more you try to prohibit yourself from something, it can lead to an even more powerful desire.

From the AIM Editorial Team.

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