Mind, Body & Spirit Diet Guidelines

By EatingWell Editors

Keep your energy levels up by following these guidelines from the nutrition experts at EatingWell.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you! I know it isn't rocket science...but understanding why someone my be an emotional eater...that it is linked chemically in releasing neurotransmitters...well it is freeing. I don't mean to be dramatic...but...

Get enough zzzzs

Your mood is more manageable and your body can more effectively fight stress when you’re well rested. Recent research has shown that lack of sleep can also lead to potentially serious health problems. Sleep deprivation causes the body to continuously release cortisol, a stress hormone, into the bloodstream. High levels of this hormone can work against you in several ways.

Cortisol stimulates a rise in blood glucose, which prompts the body to release more insulin. Over time, the increased production of insulin may lead to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells become less and less responsive to the effects of insulin—and, in some cases, the condition can progress to type 2 diabetes. You might also get sick more easily: high levels of circulating cortisol suppress the immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections.

To get a full night's sleep, try going to bed earlier than you usually do. Engage in ritual relaxing activities before bed, such as reading a book. Don't take work-related reading material to bed with you. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day so you can program a sleep schedule into your body's biological clock. Avoid alcohol in the late evening; it disrupts your sleep cycle. See Dr. Rachel Johnson's analysis of 6 common ways to manage sleep problems.

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