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Anxiety: How to deal with food anxiety

Dear Insight,

My name is Vanessa and I feel compelled to share my story for guidance and support. For some time now, I’ve been dealing with food anxiety, a constant battle that has negatively affected my overall well-being.

Whenever anxiety takes over, I find myself falling into “binge” patterns, where I completely lose control over what I eat. These episodes go beyond simply enjoying a good meal; They become excesses without measuring the nutritional components. This behavior has led to eating problems, significant weight gain, and, as a consequence, a spiral of negative emotions, including depression.

I have tried various strategies to control these impulses, but so far, my efforts have been in vain. My relationship with food has become toxic, and I feel like I am losing control over my physical and mental health.

That is why I turn to you for help. What tips or strategies can you offer me to manage food anxiety and improve my relationship with food? I am willing to make significant changes in my life to regain balance and health.

I appreciate in advance any guidance you can give me. –Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with me. I want to acknowledge your courage in addressing the challenges you’ve been facing with food anxiety. It’s clear that you’re determined to make positive changes in your life.

While I am not a professional counselor, and my suggestions should not replace professional advice, I can offer some general tips that might help you manage food anxiety and improve your relationship with food:

  • Hydrate yourself and increase fluid consumption: Drinking at least two liters of water daily is crucial for body hydration and toxin elimination. Staying hydrated keeps us satisfied and energized. Note: alcoholic or sugary drinks won’t cut it! If water isn’t your thing, try natural juices—tasty and healthy!
  • Add sources of fiber to your daily diet: Team up with high-fiber foods! They beat food anxiety by keeping you full longer, controlling cholesterol, and stabilizing blood sugar. Plus, they lower the risk of diabetes and certain cancers like colon cancer. Load up on fresh fruits, whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds for the most fiber.
  • Maintain an exercise routine: Exercise is a super healthy habit for several reasons: it boosts your mood, aids weight loss, and prevents constant snacking. Working out releases endorphins, hormones that manage anxiety, stress, and overall well-being. Aim for at least 30 minutes daily—it’s not much, and the benefits are huge! If you’re not used to it, start slowly and gradually. Mix cardio with strength exercises for a balanced routine.
  • Eat five meals a day: Here’s another top tip to beat food anxiety: eat 5 or 6 small, healthy meals a day. It speeds up metabolism, boosts energy, and keeps you psychologically in control. Opt for nutritious, low-calorie foods. And don’t skip meals—that only leads to more anxiety later on.
  • Consume sources of carbohydrates: Don’t buy into the myth that cutting carbs is the key to visible diet results—far from it! While refined carbs should be limited, go for complex carbs. They have a lower glycemic index, so they won’t spike your blood sugar. Opt for whole grains, whole grain pasta, legumes, and potatoes, steering clear of refined flour and grains when you can.
  • Includes omega 3: Omega-3-rich foods have loads of benefits, especially for those dealing with food anxiety:
    • Boost heart health
    • Tackle inflammation
    • Increase serotonin production
    These foods often come with vitamin B, crucial for nervous system regulation. Aim for 2 or 3 servings of oily fish per week. Omega-3 is also found in broccoli, olive oil, and sprouts. If needed, you can use supplements.

Follow these tips to beat food anxiety, enhance your fitness, shed weight, and boost your mood. Snack on nuts or seeds if anxiety strikes.

Disclaimer: The content on this website is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice. Please consult with a qualified mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment.

If you or someone you know is in need of talking to a professional, contact us now to schedule your initial virtual session. You can call us at 888-409-8976 or click HERE to schedule it online.

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