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If you're stressed out, you may not care about what you eat. This can lead to excess consumption of fast food, which is high in calories and fat. Eating high-fat foods on a regular basis may increase your risk of digestive issues, obesity and chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In a new study, reducing the participants' perceived stress led to less consumption of high-fat foods, including fast food. Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that you will consume lesser fast food if you have lower levels of stress. The results were published in the journal Nutrients.
The study included 338 overweight or obese mothers aged between 18 and 39. Out of these, 212 participants put in the intervention group who watched a total of 10 videos in which women like them gave unscripted testimonials about healthy eating and food preparation, managing their stress and being physically active. While many of the women in the study were aware of feeling impatient, having head and neck pain and trouble sleeping, they didn't know those are signs of stress, said lead author Mei-Wei Chang from The Ohio State University.
When the participants had their perceived stress lowered after participating in the 16-week intervention programme, their consumption of high-fat and fast foods also decreased eventually. "It's not that these women didn't want to eat healthier. If you don't know how to manage stress, then when you are so stressed out, why would you care about what you eat?" Chang said, as quoted by IANS.
When we're stressed, we are more likely to look for sugary and fatty foods to make us feel good. Along with stress management, here are some tips you can try to control your craving for fast foods.
When you carry a healthy meal and snacks at office, you're far less likely to order pizza, French fries, or eat the oily foods someone brought to the office. This is eventually help reduce your craving for fast food. So, plan out your week's meals a day before your workweek starts or on Sundays.
Not all fat makes you fat. There are many different types of fat. Both saturated and trans fats can raise LDL cholesterol, also known as "bad" cholesterol, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats which can lower the risk of heart disease. This type of fat is found in olive oil, avocados, salmon, seeds, and nuts. This will help you feel full as well as reduce cravings.
Protein makes you feel fuller with less food. Studies have shown that protein reduces the level of hunger hormone ghrelin and helps boost the levels of peptide YY, a hormone that makes you feel full. And when you're are full, you're less likely to look for fast food. Some healthy sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, fish, beans, vegetables, and nuts.
Try adding different foods to your routine because the more varied your diet is, the less likely you will fell bored and crave for unhealthy food. Use different ingredients to make your salad every day or week or make you meal more colourful by adding different types of vegetables. Eating diverse foods can also benefit your body and boost your overall health.
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