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5 healthy habits for a stress-free body

A nutritionist gives a lowdown on the healthiest practices to combat stress and stress eating

brunch Updated: Jun 02, 2019 00:02 IST
Dr Kavita Devgan
Dr Kavita Devgan
Hindustan Times
kavita devgan,stress eating,mental health
Inculcating these habits will keep you off stress eating(Shutterstock)

To lose weight and keep it off, stress reduction is almost as important as calorie reduction. And all those who seem to be winning the battle of the bulge have one thing in common: they’ve figured out coping mechanisms to deal with stress, both everyday and chronic. Instead of eating they call a friend, go for a walk or read. They also inculcate food and non-food habits that help them chuck stress automatically. Here are a few of them.

Drink some tea: You sip it slowly and calm descends! That’s because tea contains an amino acid called theamine that has mind-relaxing properties. And if you make the cup herbal, you get the added advantage of a calm, energised mind.

Get out in the sun: Do this so that the brain produces more of the natural anti-depressant serotonin. This helps suppress the appetite, prevents mood eating and mindless munching, and also increases body’s metabolic rate by stimulating the thyroid.

Sleep more: Shortened sleep cycles give you more time and opportunity to graze, and can also increase our appetites. That’s because there are lower levels of the satiety hormone, leptin, higher levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin in people who are sleep deprived. So, set the sleep cycle right if you want the weight to budge.

Go bananas, and figs: The reason why bananas rank as a happy food is due to the great amount of tryptophan and tyrosine it contains. They’re both precursors to “happy” neurotransmitters – serotonin and dopamine! Figs are a good source of vitamin B6 too, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Include both in your diet.

Meditate every day: Agreed, that to stay thin we need to move about, burn calories and sweat, but sitting still can also help sculpt your body. Meditating will make you a more relaxed and calm person. And when we are relaxed, our stress hormones that lead to over eating junk, high calorie stuff, recede. So, for 10 minutes everyday, sit and reflect. It’ll keep your waist thin and love handles away.

Kavita Devgan is a Delhi-based nutritionist, Weight Management Consultant and author of Ultimate Grandmother Hacks and Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of thin people

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From HT Brunch, June 2, 2019

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First Published: Jun 01, 2019 19:08 IST