Fitness And Diet Expert Bob Greene Shares Tips To Win The Battle Of Mind Over Munchies
(NAPSA) - In times of stress-whether due to the economy or issues at work or in the home-Americans tend to make unhealthy food choices that satisfy mental cravings, even though they may not be physically hungry.
In fact, a recent survey commissioned by Wasa Crispbread found that 64 percent of Americans who eat while stressed typically reach for junk foods-likely the saltiest, sweetest or highest-calorie options.
According to fitness and diet expert Bob Greene, while giving in to these cravings may provide a short-term fix, it may lead to guilty feelings and added pounds down the road.
"When people get depressed, sad or frustrated, they tend to crave foods they think will provide emotional comfort," said Greene. "To feel better in the long run, mentally and physically, they should adopt a healthier lifestyle and incorporate a variety of nutritious foods and exercise."
So what can people do to break this emotional eating cycle and win the battle of mind over munchies? Greene has some suggestions:
Choose nutritious, filling foods that crunch. Crunchy, high-fiber, whole grain foods can provide great mental and physical satisfaction and crunching can help relieve stress. Studies have also shown that the action of chewing longer, which is required by most crunchy foods, can aid in satiety. Greene recommends almonds, carrots, a few tablespoons of granola, and Wasa Crispbread-the whole grain crackers that can be enjoyed as a snack or bread replacement at mealtime with any variety of topping. The whole grain and fiber in Wasa Crispbread, combined with its crunchy texture, help you feel full and keep you satisfied longer.
Add variety to your meal and snack options. The survey showed that 40 percent of Americans would consider improving their diets if there were a larger variety of healthy foods to get on track. Delicious food combinations that provide fiber, whole grains, crunch and variety will help keep you motivated and satisfied.
Stock "stress areas" with healthy snacks. Don't succumb to unhealthy cravings when the pressure starts to get to you. If the office is where you feel the most stress, then keep a healthy snack at your desk and skip the trip to the vending machine. Smart options include fruit, such as grapes and oranges, or 2 to 3 tablespoons of nuts.
Exercise more. Daily exercise can help to alleviate stress, curb cravings and leave you feeling and looking better. Stash a pair of sneakers in a desk drawer at the office so you can squeeze in some exercise whenever you have a free 10 minutes.
For more information, recipe ideas and healthful eating tips, visit www.wasa-usa.com.
Bob Greene recommends:
Prep time: 5 minutes
1 slice Wasa Sourdough Crispbread (the crunchy, whole grain, fiber-filled cracker perfect for snack or mealtime)
2 small slices (1/2 ounce total) part-skim mozzarella
2 slices of a small tomato
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1-2 basil leaves, roughly torn into pieces
Pepper to taste
Place slices of mozzarella and tomato on Wasa crispbread, slightly overlapping each other.
Microwave for about 20 seconds or place under the broiler for about one minute.
Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with pepper and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.