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7 Healthy Comfort Foods To Help You De-Stress Without Gaining Extra Pounds

7 Healthy Comfort Foods To Help You De-Stress Without Gaining Extra Pounds

Now that summer is here, we’ll be at tons of cookouts. Saying no to our sweet tooth and the little devil on our shoulder is never easy, and eating our favorite junk foods is a quick way to help us de-stress. We would never want to cut out our favorite foods so we’ve formulated a list of healthy comfort foods that’ll keep you looking great in your swimsuit this year. If you want to be able to indulge without overdosing on your calorie intake, you’ve found yourself at the right place.

1. Simple Oatmeal

Oatmeal_shutterstock_173846588_RT

    via Shutterstock

    Oatmeal is one of the simplest breakfast foods out there. It’s low in calories and high in fiber. It’s quick to make and so simple for on the go. It’s easy to “dress it up” with some of your favorite fruits for some added color and flavor. By adding some strawberries and/or blueberries you’re able to address your sweet tooth, and they are certainly a healthy substitution for a doughnut or a mouth drooling cinnamon bun.

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    2. The Healthy (Salmon) Burger

    salmon-burger-2

      via Ezra Pound Cake

      It’s always hard to say no to a mouth watering burger. Most of us could eat them every day, but would surely feel the remorse after we notice the extra pounds we’d gain as a result. So for all of you burger lovers out there, we’ve found that the salmon burger is a healthy substitution. For all of you who are prone to stress, you’ll be relieved to know that salmon is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which will help protect your cells against inflammation caused by stress. Just add your favorite toppings and you’re set!

      3. Delicious, Healthy Yogurt

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      Yogurt-Parfait

        via Her Campus

        Walk away from the ice cream lane, and stay in the correct one. Replace your ice cream with yogurt. A study at UCLA discovered that women who ate yogurt that had probiotics noticed a reduction in activity in the area of the brain that handles stress and emotion. Don’t forget to top it off with some tasty fruits for some added health benefits and antioxidants, it makes for a great healthy comfort food!

        4. Citrusy Lemonade

        mango-lemonade3

          via Overtime Cook

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          When we stress, we crave sugars such as soda and other unhealthy drinks. Thankfully there’s a healthy alternative and you can finally kick soda to the side for good. Packed with Vitamin C which has been linked to the reduction of stress and can improve blood pressure and cortisol levels. Be careful when purchasing store bought lemonade’s because these can be packed with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. It’s best to make your own fresh batch and add a few drops of honey and/or a few packets of stevia.

          5. Simply Popcorn

          shutterstock_296395484-popcorn-oxana-denezhkina_0

            via Shuttershock

            Chips are something that you just can’t have a handful of. Have you ever noticed that you open the bag and think to yourself, “I’m only going to have a few” and the next thing you know you’ve managed to house down more than half the bag? Well, we have found that popcorn is a healthy comfort food. It’s high in fiber and can help level out your blood sugar. To add some flavor, top it off with some cinnamon which is known to stabilize blood sugar as well. This carb-rich snack will absolutely spark those serotonin neurotransmitters which help regulate your mood.

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            6. Green (Veggie) Pizza

            shutterstock_204618826-pizza-alena-haurylik

              via Shuttershock

              Who would we be if we sat here and told you that you can’t enjoy pizza still? But here’s the thing, some toppings are healthier than others, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that most of them are green. Swap out your pepperoni for something healthier such as spinach or arugula. Both of these are filled with vitamin B which helps fight off depression. To boost your mood a little more, throw some lemon zest on top!

              7. Delicious Dark Chocolate (Healthy Comfort Food)

              shutterstock_229969108

                via Shuttershock

                No one can deprive anyone of chocolate and no one would even want to! But just like with most things in life, there are certainly healthier alternatives in the world of chocolate. For example, swap out your M&M’s for a piece of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate will give you that dopamine rush we all want and quite frankly need every once in awhile. It also has something called cocoa polyphenols, which happens to be more prominent in dark chocolate than milk chocolate which can reduce stress – especially in women. But just like anything else, don’t overdo it, a little goes a long way!

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                Erica Wagner

                Freelance Writer

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                Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                1. Work on the small tasks.

                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                3. Upgrade yourself

                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                4. Talk to a friend.

                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                7. Read a book (or blog).

                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                8. Have a quick nap.

                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                10. Find some competition.

                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                11. Go exercise.

                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                12. Take a good break.

                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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