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  • 7 Tips About Food Anxiety

    Your food diet is a reflection of your physical and mental health driven by many factors. Food Anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses and disorders greatly impact your relationship with food.

     Read along to seven long-term tips to set for yourself and take notes on what what you want to improve.

     

    1. Set A Goal

     What do you want your health to look like? Take a note of how you eat, when, and your dietary preferences. Eating for health doesn’t mean weight loss, although it can be a side effect.

     Write your goals in a notebook to keep a record of your progress and areas to improve.

     

    2. Eat A Balanced Diet

     Think volume when eating. Fill your plate with colorful food that includes whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, fruits, and complex carbs. Eating a balanced diet benefits your weight, strengthens the immune system, increases energy levels, slows the effects of aging, reduces doctor visits, improves mental and well-being, increases your life-span, sharpens focus, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. 

    Food can even help you reduce your anxiety. Salmon, camomille, turmeric, dark chocolate, yogurt, and green tea have properties may support your mental health, but should not prevent you from consulting an expert. Other foods like chia seeds, bananas, oats, almonds, berries, citrus fruits, and bell peppers are rich in nutrients that may ease symptoms of anxiety.

     

    3. Reduce Sugar & Fast Food From Your Diet

     Did you know that sugar can be just as addictive as cocaine?

    Consuming too much sugar likely leads to obesity, diabetes, and may increase levels of anxiety and stress. Often people craving sugar for energy receive a short-term fix after an emotional and ovewhelming day. Additionally, sugar imbalances your focus span and becoming addicted to it can result in several side effects (e.g., low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness, binge-eating behavior or anorexia).

     

    4. Increase Your Intake of Water

     The average male should consume 3.7 liters of water, while the average woman should consume 2.7 liters of water per day.

     That’s right, liters of water. Juice, soda, or other drinks don’t count towards your daily goal. However, if you work out you must consume at least eight ounces of water before and after exercising.

     Water is crucial for anyone’s health. Drinking sufficient water helps lubricate your joints, maintains your body temperature, gets rid of waste, and protects both your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.

     

    5. Know Your Triggers

     If you experience anorexia, bulimia, or engage in purging behaviour, what are your emotional triggers?

     Experts note that eating disorders can develop during teenage or early adult years that causes severe health complications. Most eating disorders are due to family history, mental disorders, dieting, and stress.

     You may find it helpful to journal your thoughts and feelings throughout the week to identify emotional triggers. Ask yourself the tough questions in your reflections. For example, you may be reaching out for “comfort food” when you hear bad news, avoid eating overall when feeling anxious and/or depressed, or feel tempted to purge when trying to lose weight.

     Knowing your triggers will help you identify ways to avoid them and approach food differently.

     6. Everything In Moderation

     You can have “comfort food” and still be healthy. The trick to a healthy lifestyle is eating everything in moderation.

     Yes, you can eat ice cream, chocolate, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, donuts, or whatever sounds more appealing. The catch, however, is to not eat these foods daily. 

    Having a “cheat day” might be best for people trying to break old habits. Choose one day a week where you eat a meal or snack that you enjoy. Cheat days are ways to ease you into the process of eating healthier without the pressure of removing comfort food from your diet altogether.

     Once you pick you cheat day and establish a routine, you may notice your appetite starts to change.

     7. Reach Out

     Breaking bad habits takes immense commitment and strength of character, but you are not alone. Seek professional help. 

    Do you engage in the following behavior?

    ●    Feel guilt and shame after eating a meal

    ●    Resist consuming food after binge-eating

    ●    Going to the bathroom after eating

    ●    Cutting out entire food groups (e.g., veganism/vegeterianism, no carbs, no sugar, etc.)

    ●    Hyperactivity

    ●    Fear of gaining weight

    ●    Negative self-image

    ●    Frequent dieting

    ●    Uncomfortable eating with others

    ●    Withdrawing from friend and family activities

    ●    Skipping meals or refusing to eat

     

    If you or someone you love is interested in speaking with a trained therapist, please reach out to me. I would be happy to discuss how I might help with Food Anxiety.