News Flash! What you eat can make you feel stressed, anxious, and depressed. On the flip side if you fuel your body with whole foods like you see pictured on the left, you can create an awesome effect in your body! What you fuel your body with has a direct effect on how you feel.
Ok ok, so this shouldn’t be anything new to you if you’ve been a smart reader of Fearless Fat Loss for awhile now. You’ve read my numerous articles on the effects that refined sugar has on the body and while I haven’t focused much on caffeine, you’ll be learning about that below.
Week 5 of Attacking Anxiety and Depression
This is week 5 in my 15-week series of my experiment using Lucinda Bassett’s Attacking Anxiety and Depression program on myself. Please read my full introduction to this series if you haven’t done that already where you’ll also find a list of links to my previous articles in the series.
In my introduction you’ll learn all about why I started this series and actually today’s subject was a huge motivator for me to go ahead and share my experience with you.
Before I started this experiment on myself I watched the introductory tape that came with the program kit and when I heard the part about eliminating caffeine as well as refined sugar (or at least greatly reducing it) in order to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, I thought, “Exactly! No surprise there!”
This information really is what got me interested in experimenting on myself with this program besides the fact that I had accumulated a tremendous amount of stress in my life (ack!). However if there hadn’t been any correlation to the topic of anxiety and depression to the topics of overeating and overweight then I wouldn’t be sharing any of this with you. Like I wrote in my introduction, there are way too many people that I’ve met who are not only struggling with weight but who are also depressed.
Food, Drink, and Exercise – Your Have the Key to Change how you Feel
Week 5 is all about changing your lifestyle to reduce stress and eliminate anxiety and depression from your life. It shows that you actually have more control over how you feel than you may have thought because by avoiding caffeine and alcohol (a.k.a. liquid sugar) you can massively affect how you feel.
Furthermore sugar contributes to stress, anxiety, and depression so if you have any of these issues here’s just another reason to get off the white stuff. This really impressed me when I first watched the introductory video to this program because it’s right on target with what I blog about (getting off the sugar), which I thought was pretty cool.
Something else I’ve written about is how exercise makes you feel awesome – you get those endorphins flowing and you can literally create a natural high for yourself. I love that about exercise and I feel super after doing just 30 minutes of cardio on my treadmill – paced walking in my target heart rate zone.
As far as substances go, caffeine and sugar are the 2 biggest culprits that contribute to anxiety, stress, and depression. I’m not surprised about this but at the same time I didn’t think before learning this in the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program that this was the case. I knew that I couldn’t drink coffee on an empty stomach or very much coffee for that matter, and I’ve also felt strange when drinking too much tea, especially on an empty stomach.
What I Learned
This week wasn’t so much about what I learned as it was about what was reinforced in what I already knew. I know that refined sugar is majorly unhealthy, not only when it comes to weight loss but also the fact that sugar creates the same reaction in the brain as opiates do (morphine and heroin for example). You could also get into the topics of diabetes and food addiction (“can’t have just one”), as well as emotional eating – I don’t know anyone who reaches for plain, steamed broccoli when they emotionally eat – they go for the sugar and maybe even salt and fat.
Now we’re adding on the fact that sugar contributes to stress, anxiety, and depression! Before this program I did not know this but I sure wasn’t surprised. It’s very very interesting because the testimonials on one of the videos had people sharing how they had reduced their stress and anxiety by eliminating or greatly reducing sugar in their diet. Quite interesting.
The topic of caffeine though, wasn’t something I’d really thought about before, maybe because I’m not at all a big coffee drinker although I do enjoy tea. Now though, I’m cutting back on my tea consumption and I can say that when I’ve had tea on an empty stomach that while it’s not as intense of a reaction that I’ve had with coffee, I have gotten jittery and anxious from it.
Even if you don’t intend to do the 15-week Attacking Anxiety and Depression program if you are under an extreme amount of stress and experience anxiety and/or depression you can do a lot for yourself by just getting off the caffeine and alcohol, eliminating or greatly reducing refined sugar, and getting daily exercise. You’ll be amazed that by taking just these actions how much better you will feel.
Remember that when you’re cutting out the sugar that you’ll need to look for all of the different names for it when you read your labels because it often isn’t even listed as “sugar”. High fructose corn syrup, molasses, corn syrup solids, honey, and crystalline fructose are only a few names for refined sugar.
What would be even better though, is if you do suffer from chronic stress and anxiety and/or depression, that you get help for that at the same time that you take these physical actions. While you will greatly change how you feel by only cutting out the caffeine, alcohol, and sugar and by adding daily exercise, you still need to change your thoughts, and that can be the hardest task of them all.
A Last Note
On a final note, I normally post these updates on Wednesdays however this week I’ve had a couple of things to tend to, which is why I had to post this on Thursday. So stay tuned and I’ll bring you week six’s experiment update next Wednesday, which will be all about mood swings.