Is Your Diet Making You Stressed?

By Jo McAlister

Ever notice how diets seem to occupy most people’s minds at this time of year? TV chat shows are full of some celebrity’s “new” diet plan.

Interestingly the word diet actually comes from the Greek word “diaita” which means “ to live one’s life” and the Latin word “ diaeta” which means “manner of living”. So diet actually means way of life.

I believe that diet should be about way of life. In fact 95% of your body shape is due to what you eat more than how much you exercise.  This is not to say that exercise isn’t good for you, it is, but it may not be as essential in weight loss as we are led to believe.

Key things to remember about food:

  • Sugar is your body’s enemy. It is put into food because it stimulates your appetite, it’s addictive and then you crave it. Also when you look at the list of ingredients on foods there are so many different words for sugar that we don’t really know how much sugar is in the food we are eating.
  • Beware of chemicals and don’t be fooled by the terms “natural flavourings” they are added to enhance flavour.
  • Preservatives which are in all processed foods are there to stop foods going off but effectively what they do is stop the food breaking down. When we eat, the function of our digestive system is to break food down, by eating food with preservatives we are effectively making things more difficult for our digestive system and putting extra stress on it.
  • We seem to have lost the sense of foods being seasonal. Our bodies respond to food that is in season because it provides the correct nutrition at the right time. We need to get enough of the correct macro and micro nutrients to ensure our body has the fuel to function effectively.


It is really important to understand what makes you hungry.

  • Thirst is actually a hunger and was quenched in our past by eating hydrating foods like melons and other fruits.
  • Hunger can be your body’s way of asking for specific foods. We need nutritional variety so prepare healthy foods in a variety of ways.
  • Low blood sugar can stimulate the need to eat. Our brain needs glucose to function but ideally you want your metabolism to be burning fat rather than sugar.
  • Emotional hunger which is really a desire to change the way you feel. Know this and start to look at what is behind this.

There are many reasons why we eat and the more conscious you are about these reasons the better you and your weight will be.

If your body’s under stress from your diet, imagine how much more difficult it is for your mind to function efficiently. Especially when your lifestyle is causing you additional stress.


“Our bodies and minds are amazing and all we have to do is treat them with the respect they deserve. It is never too late to start.”

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