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Posts Tagged ‘Eating healthy’

I am a creature of habit. I find comfort in an environment that is structured, orderly, neat, and reliable. I enjoy having a procedure for everything I do. However, the past week has been anything but predictable. Like you, my home and work schedules and routines have flown out the window! As a result, I have been overwhelmed with stress and my reaction has been emotional eating.

Emotional eating is when you consume foods in response to your emotions rather than eating when you are hungry. Negative emotions such as stress and anxiety, boredom, sadness and even positive events such as wedding and parties all can result in emotional eating.  Happy or sad, most of us correlate comfort food with making us feel better. Ice cream after a breakup, a bag of chips when we are bored, too many helpings of dessert at Thanksgiving all result in the potential to over-eat.

With everything going on in our lives right now, how do we take steps to stop emotional eating?

Journaling or a Food Diary: For me it is a food diary. Writing down what I eat, how much, and what I am feeling as compared to if I am really hungry shows me the patterns I develop connecting my stress/mood to food.

Mindful Wellness: Practicing mindful wellness has also shown to be a great way to tame your stress and encourage mindful eating.  When you slow down, pace yourself and enjoy your food using all of your senses, you are able to pay better attention to the impulse to grab unhealthy foods, decide if you are really hungry, and choose to eat healthy during the stressful times. MyPlate Kitchen is a great resource to find healthy and affordable meals and snack ideas.

Build a Support Network: Thankfully I work with an amazing group of people at OSU Extension, and I know that I can call on them, a friend or a family member if I am having a really bad day. Having a support network helps your efforts to change your eating habits and improves your chance of success! It may also be helpful to join a support group specifically for individuals with similar emotional eating behaviors to learn better ways of coping.

Substitute other activities for eating: This could look like a taking a walk, reading, calling an old friend, playing with your cat or dog, giving yourself a break, or if you are like me, cleaning and organizing. Doing something that reduces your stress, fights boredom, or takes away the temptation to emotionally eat and substitutes a healthier behavior is a great way to reduce emotional eating.

We are currently in a phase of constant change; we can’t control everything, but we can control how we choose to cope with our emotions.  My goal is to make better choices when I am stressed, reduce my emotional eating, and enjoy the here and now rather than live in the past or worry about the future. May your goal help you to grow and learn as you learn healthy way to adjust to our ever-changing world.

Sources:

Brinkman, P., (2016). Eating Healthy During Stressful Times. Retrieved on March 23, 2020 from https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5244

Harvard Healthy Publishing, (2020). Why Stress Causes People to Overeat. Harvard Mental Health Letter retrieved March 23, 2020 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat

Mississippi State University Extension, (2017). Stress and Emotional Eating. Retrieved March 23, 2020 from http://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/information-sheets/is1783.pdf

Ohio State University Extension, (2019). Stress Management. Retrieved on March 23, 2020 from https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-591106

Powers-Barker, P. (2016) Introduction to Mindfulness. Retrieved on March 23, 2020 from https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5243

The Mayo Clinic, (2020). Weight Loss: Gain Control of Emotional Eating. Retrieved March 23, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20047342

University of Rochester Medical Center, (2020). Emotional Eating; How to Cope. Retrieved March 23, 2020 from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=4517

Photo credit: Dylan Lu on Unsplash

Written by: Dr. Roseanne E. Scammahorn, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Darke County

Reviewed by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County

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March is National Nutrition Month.  With over 117 million U.S. adults having at least one chronic disease and spending $316 billion in medical costs on diet-related chronic diseases, we need to eat healthier. Aligning our eating habits with the Dietary Guidelines reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.  Thus, it is time to challenge ourselves to make one change to improve our health this month by practicing a change and trying one new healthy recipe. Pick one of these examples to practice this month to start the change toward better health:

water-bottle-962934__340

Water bottle

  • Consume no more than one soda or sweetened drink per day. If you have already been limiting it to one a day, try one a week.
  • Make your dinner plate half vegetables and fruit.
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Limit your sodium consumption.
  • Drink water.
  • Choose whole-grain foods.
  • Eat/drink at least two servings from the Dairy Group every day.

    fruit 2

    fruit

  • Eat fruit for snacks.
  • Eat some nuts for snacks.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week. (Check out Fishy Fridays on our Facebook page.)
  • Try a new vegetable or fruit each week.
  • Follow the DASH or Mediterranean Diet.
  • Park farther away from the entrance.
  • Engage in some physical activity most days of the week.
  • Practice mindfulness or mediation.
  • Take three deep breathes when you feel stressed.

I am participating in a challenge at work to pick a less sugary drink everyday this month. You might challenge your co-workers, friends, or family to join you in a similar challenge.

The second part of my challenge is to try a new recipe.  Often times a new recipe will increase our interest in healthy eating.  Check out these websites Dinner Tonight, Food Hero and Recipe Central for some easy, delicious recipes.  Many of the recipes have videos or pictures to show how to make them. The websites also have kid friendly recipes.

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Veggie Tots

I tried Veggie Patties and Veggie Tots recipes.  Both are delicious and easy to make if you have a food processor.  If you like cheese you will enjoy the Veggie Tots.  I also tried Brownie Batter Hummus.  I thought the idea of cocoa and hummus was strange, but it’s wonderful on fruit and tastes like a brownie.

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Breakfast cupcakes

A super easy recipe for breakfast is the Microwave Breakfast Cake.  If you regularly eat cereal for breakfast this one is a tasty substitute.

Let us know what recipes you try and how your challenge goes.  Let’s make this March a healthier one.  Hopefully, the weather will get warmer in March and make it easier for physical activities outside.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, brinkman.93@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, harmon.416@osu.edu

References:

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019).  Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan.  Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801

National Institute of Health. (2018). DASH Diet.  Available at https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/dash-eating-plan

Oregon State University Extension.  (2019). Food Hero.  Available at https://foodhero.org/

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. (2019).  Dinner Tonight.  Available at https://dinnertonight.tamu.edu/

University of Nebraska Lancaster Extension. (2019). Recipe Central.  Available https://food.unl.edu/recipe-central

USDA. (2019).  Let’s all Eat Healthy. Be Healthy. Save.  Available at https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/tentips/DGA-Infographic-2018%20%281%29.pdf

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While ringing in the New Year, many of us also resolve to make THIS the year that we finally realize our goals. Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves off the resolution wagon before January has ended. Every year people say they are going to exercise more, be healthier, quit smoking, get organized, lose weight, manage money, etc. By the time February rolls around, those ambitions have gone by the wayside. Well, FEAR NOT! Using some scientifically proven steps, lasting change is achievable.

Researchers have identified distinct stages of change that people who are able to achieve success progress through. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) was developed in the late 1970’s by James O. Prochaska, PhD and Carlo C. DiClemente, PhD, when they contrasted the experiences of people who were able to quit smoking on their own, versus those who needed additional treatment. People quit smoking when they were ready to quit. The TTM operates on the assumption that people do not change behaviors quickly and decisively. Rather, change in behavior, especially habitual behavior, occurs continuously through a cyclical process.1

The Transtheoretical Model

  • Pre-contemplation: Someone may realize there is a problem and they may be thinking about changing it, but they have not yet made a commitment to do anything about it. People can be stuck in this phase for many years.
  • Contemplation: Someone plans to make some changes in the relatively near future. They have started to think about the good and bad things associated with making these changes.
  • Preparation: Someone is going to take action soon. They may start taking small steps toward the change.
  • Action: Someone has recently started making some changes in their behavior to make progress toward their goal.
  • Maintenance: Someone has been continuing with the behavior changes for a period of time and they plan to stick with them.
  • Termination: Someone no longer has any desire to revert back to their previous behaviors. Most people don’t get to this point, so it is often not part of many programs.
change

People do not succeed in achieving their New Year’s resolutions or other goals because they are unaware of these stages. In addition to this, the professionals people seek for help, may also be unaware of what stage of change the someone is actually in. They assume since a person has come to them asking for help, that they are in the action phase, when this may not be accurate. Consider whether the stage of change that you are in right now is appropriate for the expectations you may have set on January 1st. If not, adjust your timeline and your goals accordingly.

So, if achieving your goal weight, exercising more, eating better, quitting smoking, managing finances, or whatever has slipped by the wayside, you can still be successful in 2017!

Author: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Reviewer: Amanda Bohlen, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University, Washington County.

Sources:

Boston University School of Public Health http://sphweb.bumc.bu.edu/otlt/MPH-Modules/SB/BehavioralChangeTheories/BehavioralChangeTheories6.html

Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285796052_Applying_the_Stages_of_Change

SAGE Journals http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.4278/ajhp.140627-QUAL-304

Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162833.html

Medline Plus https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162820.html

Harvard Business School http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-keep-with-the-help-of-behavioral-science-research

Case Western Reserve University http://www.centerforebp.case.edu/stories/stages-of-change-co-creator-carlo-diclemente-discusses-practical-applications-of-his-transtheoretical-model-for-health-wellness-and-recovery

University of California, San Francisco https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2016/12/405201/scientific-reasons-keeping-your-new-years-resolutions

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/behavior.htm

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