You may find this surprising, but your diet can actually impact your stress levels. The food you eat, how you eat it, and when you eat it can positively or negatively affect your overall stress levels. And if your stress level increases, so can your waistline.
So in the same way that it’s important to get regular physical activity to manage stress, it’s also just as important to focus on eating the right foods (at the right times) to help manage stress.
Specific nutrients can impact stress levels, but so can the timing of your meals and snacks. When you go long periods of time without eating, your blood sugar can drop. When your blood sugar drops, your energy level can decrease, your mental focus can decline, and you can become irritable.
These feelings can all bring on and increase stress throughout the day. For this reason, along with the benefit to metabolism and weight loss, it’s important to eat small meals and snacks frequently throughout the day.
Consuming adequate carbohydrates during the day is also helpful for managing stress (and therefore slimming your belly). When you eat carbohydrates, your body releases the hormone serotonin, which is a “feel good” chemical in the brain. Serotonin not only helps you feel good, but it also helps to reduce stress.
However, you can’t just choose any carbohydrate. You need to consume only whole-grain carbohydrates. The fiber in these carbohydrates helps control appetite, decrease insulin response, and prevent midday dips in your energy level.