Dealing with a lot of stress at work? Your diet may be to blame. Sometimes the foods we eat and drink affect more than our health, they can also affect our moods. Since food is something you can change and control, it’s easy to make sure you’re not eating things that are negatively affecting your diet. The most important thing is learning what those foods are.
Foods That Increase Stress At Work
Drinking your zero Calorie beverage may make you think you are being good, but in reality the ingredients could be hindering your progress. Even though caffeine is safe for the HCG Diet, it needs to be consumed in moderation. Small daily doses of caffeine, for example 16 oz. or less are fine. Certain beverages, in small doses are actually good for you. For example, black coffee and herbal teas are not only a lot lower in sugar than most sodas, juices, and sports drinks; they’re also rich in antioxidants. Over-consumption of caffeine is what causes a problem for the body. In fact, any powerful stimulant in large quantities can cause anxiety and loss of concentration. This can lead to loss of productivity and heightened stress on the job. Make limits for yourself if you feel jittery or irritable after consuming caffeinated beverages.
There is a distinct difference between good fats and bad fats on the HCG Diet. During the loading days we encourage you to consume “good Fats” such as eggs, salmon, avocado, cuts, cheese, and almond butter, and olive oil. These are the good guys, the fats that your body benefits from. The P.H.A.T. (Pretty Hot and Tempting) fats are the ones we urge you to steer clear from and eliminate from your diet, or at limit. If fatty food is the naughty mistress in your life, set goals to eliminate it slowly so you don’t feel deprived. I do not need to remind you, you know these things. However, we all need a little push to set goals and I will emphasize the proven fact that eating a fatty meal may heighten the unhealthy effects of stress on the heart, like raising blood pressure.
When we think of fatty foods we often think fried foods first. For instance, greasy burgers, pizza, fried chicken, chips, and candy. However, it is important to note that we may also be consuming lots of fat in other types of foods we don’t think of. For example, if you are consuming a large amount of 100% whole fat dairy (such as cheese, yogurt, and milk) daily you may also need to be concerned. Instead of pouring full-fat cream in your daily cup of coffee or tea, or putting 17 spoonful’s of sugar in it to “sweeten’” it up, or drowning your cereal in full-fat milk. If you are guilty of any of these things, you may want to try 1% low-fat or nonfat milk for starters or try alternatives like almond milk. It may take a while to adapt to the new taste, but starting your day with a heart-healthy beverage can cut a considerable amount of calories.
Surprisingly, it is the light or light-to-moderate drinkers who cause more problems for themselves than their heavy-drinking friends and this is due to the hangovers light drinkers usually get. Hangovers may kill your chance at productivity and subsequently increase your stress. A lot of us rationalize that having a glass of something strong is a good way to loosen up in a stressful business lunch, but partaking in a glass of wine or beer at a business lunch may not benefit you. While your intention may be to take the edge off, you may be surprised to learn that your choice of beverage is actually having the opposite effect. While it may lower our inhibitions, reaction time and sense of judgment, research shows that alcohol also stimulates the release of cortisol, also known as the body’s “stress hormone.” When you’re on the clock, stick to sparkling water, fresh orange juice, or another non-alcoholic alternative. Plus, your favorite drink may have a surprising amount of calories in it. Next time you plan to go out for drinks, check the ingredient label to see just how many calories you are consuming.
Having an occasional treat is one thing, but over-indulging is quite another especially if it is affecting your health and work ethic. If you are the employee who makes frequent trips to the desks that have a candy dish or to the vending machine, you may want to re-consider your snack time habits. While packaged snacks, candies, and other quick-fix snacks seem to satisfy cravings momentarily, their effect wears off quickly and they can make you feel sleepy and hungrier than you were before you ate them. Junk foods are made of mainly high-fructose corn syrup and enriched flour, and do not have the proper nutrients such as protein, fiber, and vitamins. These nutrients help your body regulate stress levels and do prevent you from crashing after a temporary sugar high!
If you frequently consume high-calorie, high-fat foods, and you do not exercise enough you WILL gain weight because your body stores what it doesn’t use. Weight gain can cause additional health issues in your body such as, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. We suggest that instead of a visit to the vending machine or the candy dishes at your coworkers’ desk, make a healthy stash for yourself in your own office. Fill your stash with the things that will help you to stay energized. Some great options would be low-fat plain Greek yogurt, fruit, berries, raw veggies, hummus, almond butter, whole grain bagels.
Sodium rich foods
Over consumption of sodium can cause bloating, sleepiness, and it can make you feel gross. Sodium-rich fries, chips, and deli meats are very popular meal time favorites, but an excess of sodium causes the body to retain fluids, which may cause hypertension. Stress, along with consuming too much high-sodium foods, can result in prolonged high blood pressure. The best option is remaining committed to a diet low in fat and sodium. If this seems like it is too much for you to begin in your lifestyle, make smaller changes. You can try changing you ordering habits, for example, ordering a simple grilled chicken sandwich (not fried, breaded) with fresh avocado and lots of green peppers and cucumbers on whole wheat bread instead of a huge sandwich portion that is filled with greasy meats, cheeses, and high sodium condiments. Small changes like this can help decrease your blood pressure. Of course, the best lifestyle changes that can help you regulate your blood pressure and stress levels are including regular exercise, adequate sleep, and meditation in your daily routine. If you spend most of you day in an office setting, utilize your allotted break times to go for a walk, do some stretches in the break room or empty office space, or even go outside and breathe fresh to help you distress and get your mind off work for a few minutes.
Are you eating any of the foods that cause more stress at work?