Food satisfies not only physical hunger but also helps satisfy emotional needs. Stress unleashes hormones that makes people eat high sugared and high fat foods. This is because there are parts of the brain that are rewarded from eating such foods when stressed. Now, Indians are food lovers especially their snacks and a research from an agency Mintel has said in the past that 37% of Indians snack to relieve themselves of stress. An Indian nutritionist can help plan healthy snacks to satiate hunger as well as emotional needs.

What is Emotional eating?
Emotional eating means using food to soothe or suppress emotions like stress, anxiety, sadness, etc. Various studies have shown that the intake of high fat and high sugared foods is high when a person is experiencing such negative emotions. One reason could be that the hunger hormone ghrelin is playing a role here. Another reason could be that the cortisol levels that are high during stress along with the high insulin levels may cause this.
Now, eating alone cannot contribute to weight gain always. People under stress may also not exercise, have more alcohol, and also sleep less which could contribute to an increase in weight.

Emotional eating can interrupt gains when on a weight loss diet. Here are some suggestions on how to manage stress and thus unhealthy eating during these times:

1. Note it down: Have a food diary where you mention the emotions as well with the foods eaten during the day which tells you about the kind of choices you make when negative emotions strike

2. Meditate: Meditation will help you reduce stress and with regular practice also help you make mindful food choices.

3. Exercise: Exercise is known to neutralize the negative effects of stress. Yoga and Tai chi for instance include both exercise and meditation and can thus be good choices.

4. Out of sight: Make sure that your kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator do not have any junk in them. Instead, stock them up with healthy foods so that when hunger strikes or you are mentally drained you do not give in to the unhealthy foods.

5. Distract yourself: When you recognize that you are upset or are stressed, distracting yourself by going for a walk or talking with a friend or listening to some music or reading a book will help you switch gears and not think of food.

If you are following an Indian diet for weight loss, keep an eye on the high sugar and high fat snacks. A qualified nutritionist can be the best person to help you deal with your food cravings under stress.

Author's Bio: 

Arati Shah is an astute nutritionist having expertise in offering all types nutrition to different individuals and corporate. She is one of the top nutritionists in Mumbai who can also guide one through weight loss in Mumbai and corporate wellness programs with same efficacy. She heads the Nutrition team in Mumbai and takes personal interest in every client.

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