5 Ways To Manage Stress Eating STRESS EATING (As it appeared in Men’s Health)



Here’s what an expert has to say…

Author Srishti Sabharwal

Senior Features Writer

So, you’re working on an assignment that’s taking forever to get done with and definitely giving you sleepless nights. Next thing you know your hand is reaching out for a packet of chips. Sounds familiar? We’ve all been there. A certain level of stress brings with itself the need to binge eat. There’s a reason it’s called ‘stress eating’! But why does this happen in the first place? We spoke to Bangalore-based Nutritionist and Food Coach, Anupama Menon to understand stress and how to manage it so you can prevent emotional eating.

What Is Stress?

Anupama beautifully explains what stress is and why a little bit of stress is actually good for us, “When a stone pedals down into the water, stress produces the ripple effect that drives the water into a radius it otherwise only hopes to achieve. And that’s what stress is supposed to do. Good stress is meant to drive us, make us achievers and help us push our limits. But when stress overflows into everything else that matters in your life, affecting it in ways you are not encouraged about, it’s time to break the commotion and restore some semblance of order in your life again!” says Menon.

That’s true for pretty much everything in life. It’s impossible to find balance in extremes. To channel stress positively, it’s important to take it in doses.

How To Manage Stress

Managing your stress levels is key to controlling your stress eating habits. “You don’t have to kill the stress, it’s like killing your drive. Keep the adrenaline flowing and stop well before you get acrimonious,” says Menon.

There’s very little you can do to control the food cravings if you can’t control the stress first. With help from the expert, we’ve devised a set of guidelines that’ll prevent you from getting stressed out too easily.


1. Make A Few Additions to Your Daily Diet 

Nuts, 2 tsps ghee and about 10-15 gms of dark chocolate daily can help minimise food cravings that invariably accompany stress.

2. Maintain A Routine 

Regulate your sleep times well within a time frame of half an hour. If you intend to or sleep daily at 11 PM, don’t let it stretch beyond 11:15 PM and don’t allow yourself to hit the pillow before 10:45 PM. This kind of regulation will bring in a pattern that will signal your body to rest at an indicated time, sleep will be restful and be summoned quickly

3. Meditate Daily

Meditate daily for 10-15 minutes. There is no key to meditation, so don’t wait to learn a method. A quiet spot where no one can reach you for some time, one where you can sit straight-backed and listen to your own breath and trace its pattern is good enough for a start.

4. Relax And Rejuvenate 

Make time for friends and family and include any kind of exercise (preferably outdoors) in your daily routine. Every day, not just during the weekend. It’s a great way to relax and definitely a healthier alternative to stress eating!

5. Get Your Supplements! 

Drink vegetable infused water (water infused overnight with cut cucumber, lemon and mint) as they can help restore your body into an alkaline zone, stress tends to make your body acidic.

You can also try adaptogens like ashwagandha, ginseng, phosphatidylserine – they help in  balancing the hormones that go astray purely as an after effect of chronic stress. But remember, their effects are only supplemental in nature.

Follow these five guidelines and maintain a healthy lifestyle and you’ll shake the stress away…slowly but surely!

Snacks under 100 calories


Article as it appeared in Living Foodz

The most common way to calm hunger pangs between meals is reaching out for pre-packaged snack foods. Easy and quick, they save you the effort of going into the kitchen and deciding what you should make. While these quick-fixes may fill you up temporarily, they also end up filling you out. Thanks to all the extra sodium, sugar and preservatives that come along with such snack foods. Even if you do make some snacks at home, you may end up consuming calories worth a whole meal in the garb of a snack.

For healthy snacking, all you need is a little planning. Besides, not only do nutritious snacks fill you up but also keep you feeling energised between meals. Three nutritionists help us compile a list of small yet satisfying snacks that take care of hunger pangs in 100 calories or less. Keep this list of nutritionist recommended low-calorie snacks handy and you won’t have to depend on packaged snack foods the next time hunger strikes.
Under 100 Calories

Steamed momos: 60 Calories
Two pieces of steamed momos make for a quick and filling snack, says Kavita Devgan, a Delhi-based independent nutritionist and author. This healthy snack is a great source of fibre and antioxidants.

Check out this vegetarian momos recipe.

Fruit Bowl: 75 to 100 Calories
Another refuelling suggestion from Amreen Sheikh, Dietician, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, is a bowl of fresh fruits. The ideal fruit bowl, to be considered balanced and healthy, should contain 100 grams of strawberries, one medium-sized orange and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder or chilli flakes. Sheikh says, “This will not just fill you up but also contribute to your daily vitamin intake.” In case you don’t like the fresh fruits just as they are, you can add about 25 to 30 grams of low-fat curd which will also contribute to your protein quota.

From picking the right fruit to storing them correctly, chef Pankaj Bhadouria shares hacks for fresh fruits.

Air-popped corn: 95 Calories
Sheikh promptly suggests three cups of air-popped corn when asked about a quick but healthy snack. The expert suggests you sprinkle some chilli flakes over the popcorn for taste.

Bored of popcorn? Bring in some variety, check out other healthy snacks to munch on instead of popcorn.

100 Calories

Carrots with Hummus

Sheikh suggests carrot with hummus, a high protein snack you must consider including in your daily diet. All you need is two to three carrots cut into sticks and two tablespoons of hummus made with 15 grams of chickpeas and a teaspoon of oil. Don’t forget to season the dip with some salt and your favourite herbs. This quick carrots with hummus recipe video will help you.

Chia Seeds with Milk and Honey

Bangalore-based food coach and nutritionist, Anupama Menon, says a cup of milk with a teaspoon of chia seeds and honey works as a great snack. “You can add cocoa powder to the milk to better the flavour,” says the expert. What’s so great about chia seeds? Read all about the health benefits of chia seeds.

Open Sandwich

Next up is an open sandwich idea from Menon. Take a slice of whole wheat bread, assemble 10 grams of feta cheese, two tablespoons of grilled vegetables of your choice and a dollop of salsa on it. Your open sandwich is ready to eat. A sandwich in just 100 calories? Isn’t that amazing? *runs into the kitchen to make it*

Check out more sandwich recipes.
Calling all yoghurt lovers! How about taking care of hunger pangs with a bowl of low-fat yoghurt. A helping of about 150 grams of yoghurt with a pinch of cinnamon powder makes for a tasty snack. “Yoghurt is high in protein and cinnamon acts as a natural fat burner,” says Sheikh.

Spinach with Eggs or Paneer

Sheikh says, take a teaspoon of oil and sauté 100 grams of spinach with the whites of 2 eggs. If you don’t eat eggs, use 30 grams of cottage cheese or paneer. And add some salt and crushed garlic for additional flavour and voila! You’ve got a snack which is high on fibre and protein.

Adding spinach to a meal is the quickest way to ensure it will be healthy. Check out all the health benefits of spinach.

Want something light? Try snacking on a cup of makhana or lotus seeds roasted in ¾ teaspoon of ghee. Menon says you can season the seeds with some salt and pepper. So simple, right?

Apart from lotus seeds, the leaves, stem and roots of the lotus flower are also used in cooking. Read about their health benefits and how you can include them in your diet.

Roasted Almonds
One of our favourites on the list is this roasted almond suggestion by Menon. The expert recommends eating eight roasted almonds and to make them tastier, Menon says you can coat or drizzle the almonds with two teaspoons of melted chocolate chips. This will surely turn snack time into fun.

Read more on the health benefits of almonds.