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Chapter 8. Nutrition > Chapter Summary

Chapter Summary

How well or how poorly you eat has a direct relationship to your ability to handle stress. The relationship between poor diet and ill health is well documented. Following the seven steps to good nutrition will help improve your stress resistance: (1) eat a variety of foods; (2) eat more whole foods; (3) avoid caffeine; (4) avoid alcohol; (5) take vitamin and mineral supplements (particularly the stress-fighting B vitamins); (6) eat frequent, peaceful meals; and (7) maintain a healthy weight. Losing weight can be a frustrating process because your weight is partially genetically determined by a setpoint that sets your metabolic rate. The changes necessary to lower your particular setpoint (and help you lose weight) have the side benefit of boosting your resistance to stress as well. These include getting plenty of exercise, decreasing your consumption of refined sugar, lowering your fat intake to 20 percent daily, minimizing your salt intake, and drinking plenty of water. Additionally, you can use stimulus control methods such as response prevention, competing responses, and successive approximations to help you gain better control over your eating habits.


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