Anxiety with Diets: How to fight it

Women tend to forget about their health when it comes to dieting. Most of them, unhappy with the way they look, believe that restrictive diets can be the answer to their problems. In order to obtain the result they dream of, they choose different crazy diets that only cause anxiety, which leads to overeating in order to calm down, and therefore, achieve the contrary result of what they were expecting.

Diets are usually related to different emotional factors, such as anxiety, which ask for an instantaneous satisfaction, especially when wanting to lose weight. This is why in times of crisis a person who is on a diet looks for foods rich in fats and sugars, as they have a calming effect upon the body. An effective diet doesn’t necessarily mean having to starve and cause anxiety due to food deprivation. Even though sometimes it is too hard or maybe impossible to resist to the temptation, one should be aware of the fact that our brain is set on everything that is forbidden, while our stomach might be totally full and satisfied. Weakness in diets is normal, since we stop consuming sugars and carbohydrates, while fighting anxiety becomes extremely difficult.

Every diet has its moments of weakness when we feel depressed and eager to eat an entire chocolate box. However, these are the crucial moments in a diet when the person wanting to lose weight has to learn how to calm down and release all the stress. Otherwise, all the effort was in vain and this might result in a deep depression and just like a snowball ,we get back to the starting point. The situation becomes even worse in the case of extremely busy women and men who need to face a hectic schedule and responsibilities. These women and men have an unbalanced diet and due to their busy lifestyle they forget to chew food properly, skip important meals, and choose unhealthy snacks rich in calories. Moreover, all the stress specific to a chaotic routine can cause overeating and will set you away from your primary goal of being on a diet. Anxiety normally encourages an increase of the adrenaline level, while serotonin decreases, making self-control a difficult task.

If you’re finding it hard to control your emotions while dieting, there are a few basic tips that might help you fight diet anxiety. First of all, the most important thing is to start eating healthy foods that are not dense in calories and can give you a satiety sensation. Well, we all know that a carrot or celery stick cannot be compared with a handful of chips. Still, you should know that these are your lifesavers when you feel like giving up on your diet due to anxiety issues. Therefore, vegetables have to become your best friends. There are numerous nutrients that strengthen nerves and partially calm and reduce nervousness specific to anxiety. This is one good reason for you to carefully check your diet and make sure you eat a lot of foods rich in magnesium, tryptophan and B-vitamin complex, especially B1, B6 and B12. Magnesium has relaxing properties that helps fighting anxiety. It can be found in bananas, legumes, chocolate, potatoes (baked), oatmeal, etc. You can also refer to our earlier article about “Where to find your nutrients“ to know where these nutrients can be acquired.

It is a well-known fact that wholemeal products are a healthy choice that perfectly balance and complete your diet, being a great source of fiber for your organism. Besides, despite the fact that dry fruits are rich in calories, eating a few nuts (4 or 5) represents not only a good source of magnesium, but they can also reduce anxiety. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the body can get only from food. This amino acid helps the body produce B-vitamin niacin, which encourages the body to produce serotonin. Serotonin acts as a calming agent in the brain.

For dinner, it is important to have proteins, such as seeds, beans, lentils, meat, eggs or fish, in order to accumulate amino acids, which will increase the serotonin level in the body and therefore make us feel better. Fruits, such as bananas, have the same effect.

Taking refuge in food is not the solution, when you find it really hard to manage diet anxiety. What you need to do is to find other avenues to channel anxiety. Therefore, exercising and practicing different sports might be of great help. By exercising, you free endorphins, hormones that counteract the effect of anxiety.