Tips for maintaining a healthy diet

ABC News' Olivia Smith talks to nutritionist Shawn Stevenson about how to combat stress eating and cravings, and keep a healthy diet.
28:26 | 08/11/17

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Transcript for Tips for maintaining a healthy diet
Rating for summers' theory. We Sean Stevens and nutrition at best selling author and the hope that the model health shadow. Features and number one held by cats in the US. We're stuck at a hot and say thank you for joining ask my pleasure so Britney talking diet thing guiding this summer Felix Summers at a time for people to diet yeah. Along lake New Year's one of those times people if it shape for summer. That we want to talk about that I hit how to stick to it that also why it took heat heat and me like that can not be so strict anti. So we have our acts very key airy take it away. Sure it will first I want to talk about. Was to share with kind of going on behind the scenes we have cravings. Because really cravings are kind of in the first domino Knox everything over. So what it boils down to it's it's a series of chemical reactions that are going on our body's. Compel us to go after certain substance. However that in to make it in real world terms it's like something flirting with art tension with our oceans. And it really drives this compels the questions. And what's going on behind the scenes ultimately this is all happening the majorities. Now let's go right down there buddy. Oh. Us. And this is known as the master. Land master regulator in your body your brain so this kind of man did governing force. And what's so interesting about apple down this is that it integrates. Your endocrine system owners system so your endocrine system hormones. And you're nervous system is kind of how you experience the world right so it integrates those two things. And there are a couple of key elements because the now gonna take these cravings and now when you have a great now. Going to be able to dissect. What's going and yet they might get out you could be also more empowered. So we've got Bible down this and there's a couple of keys here so we've got. Number one is something called to open mean. Missed the neuro transmitters. While ranks highways. That candidate city gagged opening. And we gat serotonin. And this is something that's often referred to as this kind of known yet. What if you pick it. As is kind of quote feel good neuro transmitters so a lot of even antidepressant medications there SSR serotonin uptake inhibitors. Just kind of play around with serotonin experience that we have of these feel good thing about it talk about what training do with serotonin moment. Two more things really quickly leptin. I and Guerrero and OK so let's go through each of these really quickly so. Doping means he's. One of the major. Chemicals in our body that really drives us to co seeks. To really compel us to take action. It's not just for food but for everything if we didn't have doping means we would have to drive. To make computers to make space ships you know upper human evolution to really kinda keep moving forward it's great. When he gets out of balance it can drive us to do some. Not the best behaviors. Rules it's yes exactly exactly. And so the big key here is that we need to reward. So there's different systems in the body's open you its system. There's also is Nero neuro transmitter called serotonin that we as a reward is well we take action so maybe this is. Having sex or going after you know particular food we get a serotonin hit an axis of good awarded. Chocolate. Yes there. And also topple it actually has some precursors to things like their tone. That's really fascinating how these Wellington love chocolate especially certain times of the year. You know want to stress chocolate really kind of speaks. So we get don't mean got serotonin and and leptin is your body's major. Sit tied. So this is what comes in in action feels issued. And that ironic being that this is produced from your fat tissue. It so your fat juicy creeks leptin. It makes you feel satisfied kind of like tell anybody had. And so if you're deficient. In this function or theirs. Leptin resistance. Is can cautioned continues in big problem. On the other salad got Rowland and Rell in aids kind of it's. So leptin we can say is maybe. Back and grow in his Cadillac and took. If arch enemy. But that is not dead jokers bags scattered offenders can we increase the ground injured bodies hunger. Glorified hunger. And it's kicking on an active to compel you to put more into your system because it feels like there's something missing. So that's when things and go through two days well so this is what's going on behind the scene again this is kind of chemical soup and this is just a piece. But these are the big pieces. Off your trainer Al east out here so there's were sector is for example for leptin. In apple fountains but this is. All throughout your body you know even in your toes never sectors or. These different. Hormones and a transmitters as well so it's really a whole body experience. It and where it's starting. So would I want to talk about next words. Are these greetings baton first sprint and answer short answer is no absolutely not. My question is if you're having a crippled his battle your body is lacking something that's why I also means you're craving ice cream you're thinking of this bad meanie cal senior. I'm not sure if that is that a reality it's are. Point there that absolutely it's because he's cravings manifests due to some dysfunction war. On media deficiency in one of these things and there's again there's more to within days. So for example you talk about ice cream may be lacking in calcium. There the number one driver for cravings in my professional opinion and in my experience. Needs nutrient deficient. That's the big thing. And so what'd they do you ever had a cookie for example and your body is lowland glucose. If your brain if you've ever had a cook you bring to get a quick source of glucose to get refueled very quickly. But the question days. How do we get through place of low glucose will put children first what can you guys get out green matched all not exactly what. Ice cream is like it's readily available it's TC. It's tipping into your primal kind of your amigos more reptilian part your brain to compel you to keep that energy back to your brain because. If your brain is long glucose for example. Dad is like a survival mechanisms and Kate because throughout our evolution if our brain was running on glucose. It could be dangerous for you because your brain is functioning full capacity. It what you're faced with the threat what you're facing a situation you have to find food. So when your body's compel you very strong places like your biology where there will power to go and get that back to your prey it's quick it's possible. In Seoul at fort yes. In your body is very it's not just food though. Because we can your body has stores. And can unlock. And yes and so this wet exercises that component which were caught with suffered several factors. Helping to address some of these cravings and and it. But I want it really share with everybody and I say it is whatever act and is that. The real cause of over eating. When it boils down to is that nutrient deficiency leads to chronic overeating so chronic nutrient deficiency of these chronicle reading. How do we address this we need to be proactive. We have our nutrition instead of reactive. In house because your body is very. Very crafty and driving you so for example say you're deficient in magnesium which is very easy to beat reasoning. Calcium as you mentioned. Copper maybe some micro. Nutrients and Michael minerals like copper zinc things like that and age if you have this hunger experience craving and you go for the cookie. Or you go for a peace force and would you. So in comes that food. But you don't get to compound your body when in the first place in a whole range all tree exactly action air. Exactly so what's the result you're hungry again very soon after and your probably gonna continue making port food choices. So what if we come into the situation already being well owners. You know because we're eating real food we're getting. The right supplements if those nutritional gaps and that's what are really encourage for my my clients back in the day announced Michael quirk. Was being proactive make sure getting our nutritional bases covered specially to start the day. That put you in the metabolic and manage. Helping in the morning especially. Especially to start that's and and people present for Brett has been Borneo but we also heard machines and weeks you know. The breakfast of champions and that's not necessarily going to do the trick. Ago that's number one he's chronic nutrient deficiency we chronicle. The second corporate going on scenes funny enough is slowing. We got patients huge driver her career in fifteen. And tired. Acts yes so. Fortunately I actually wrote international bestselling book sleep smarter. And over the years is being able to see this in my current practice sees. Just kind of played out hundreds of thousand people. At up to communicate at this point. It's really remarkable how this is just kind of swept under the rug intention to Stanford University actually that he. They found just 24 hours this week average which is not unusual let's go to sleep debt short. When for hours is enough to suppress leptin. It's your bodies that I own it suppressed. We can't start become more leptin resistant. Just in one day. Trial. And all. That out yet. Just one day so UC Berkeley emption. But say UC Berkeley this thing actually looked at brain imaging scans seem what's happening in the brain Anderson Cooper. And they were blown away resurgent knew that there was some issues going on but one at things in note it was there was reduced activity in the pre frontal cortex the part of the brain went cold. Support your brain responsible for will power decision making distinguishing between right and wrong social control. That part of your brain starts to be actively. And they found heightened Cole right at the same time on the other side. Heightened activity in the in which Michener is more primitive reptilian party brain. Put that combination together. And tell me if I'm wrong I have yet to meet somebody who's up at 2 o'clock in the morning watching Netflix and egg crate like an outlet. Sally. Nobody guys that. I you know watching game at throughout this lake. Can you may some broccoli and we'll get some cookies. You know eat eat getting away exactly salty crunchy sweet things like that you know especially when you're tired. It's just something that we do that's. Oh absolutely apps. So again that's just one component we can break did tacit agreement please understand. If you're sleep deprived automatically put yourself and Pepsi Center some critics. 01 more quick thing pressure. They also found that there was a 6% reduction in glucose to brain witnessing 24 hour race. So we talked about the survival mechanism again. And 14% and that was from the pre cortex. A party bracelet starving. So looking your body kick in ears and go get them back here that we can survive. Hello Tito's. Asked. OK so we covered nutrient deficiency we covered sleep deprivation and the third day and people experienced stress. We've heard that the terms together stress eating them. And to date more than just that it appears stressful society to different kind of stress and Francis experience right. Spot. In the it's crazy you know our ancestors their survive their. Their stress is more like we had five. Just kind of report bites it and it goes up and down ours is kind of chronic. Behind the scenes stress is going on because the we have a lot of bar is it cool need to enact. Our brains infant in their ability to look for problems. Right so we're constantly analyzing worried about stuff and staying on top of this never been more distraction has never been more things on top. And we're feelings and we're seeing the results with our. You know even dead in the nation's. Obesity crisis that experience which I was intimate Pardo because you know. Part of my story when I was around eight when he. I was diagnosed with this kind of degenerative bone condition. And packing we just really having them. Really difficult time turning things around for myself it's because all of the stuff was seen acting know how sleep deprived. I was lacking movement which we'll talk about second. And my stress levels so trying to graduate from college. House trying to you know pay my rent would concept now. And all of this stuff what I'd like to refer to because some people in this like it's. But the thing about work stress it is a big go to but I talked about on the culture overall stress load and guess what's handling that stress vote. I put them it's. All of that's filtering and so work stress relationship stress nutrient deficiency food stress. Exercise stress exercise is a stress opens too much or too little. And also even spiritual stress you know two days kind of feeling connected. Cut adrift. On a relief purpose all of these thing things feed into overall stress load and grizzled. I'm not on my purpose by the purpose of this cake. Which for me. So. Those are kind of in big things the big theory he's intrigued nutri deficiency sleep deprivation. And stress. So now we can shift years kind of gifts from people's and so motions to address the things. No absolutely and then again if you are on diet just under seeing in cats sleep. Here kind of tea in a well balanced me treat aids. And he stressed saying look I'm sure we'll discuss it exercises that makes it easier for people to stick to diet. Okay. And until you know let go in nineteen talking it out how to calm back straps and why maybe it's also locate gay guy that's I think gotten off. Acting skills yes it's overwhelming and it's very eat eat fat get up comments that might go back to that asking results. So what advice before being anti exercising common task for it but some advice for dieting and Shula. Okay this is the big point here for us. And me being a nutritionist suggests seeing this experience over the years. The number one we have to understand the number one driving force of human spirit is to not be. Put in a case like we do not like to be told what to do we do not like to be. Bound to something like as soon as you tell even a child know what is an achingly do more. Yet to do the same thing tell them not do right now we're just big and build babies I can do the same thing if somebody tells you know like you can't do things. If I told you you know even for your health and for your benefit. You can never have cost again if I tell you that you gonna be location of the but in my next year might be. Two years from now you're gonna find yourself pop ups an affront to sunny outlook are unique and go hand. On that fettuccine Alfredo and say it's not. I'll opt you know and so when we get into these very strict kind of rigorous guy its where oftentimes setting ourselves here. Because we're putting ourselves when we start to label ourselves with an ism behind it. We are cutting out all these things that are possible for us you know. And it creates a site psychological stress people. And so for some people can be free but it just depends really on how you approach in your view of how come intuit how much deprivation you're putting yourself restriction. And that's the word diet so. It carries a lot of deprivation built into the word. Restriction and also and so when a shift over our model of hiding really. Looking to a lifestyle we have eating that fuels could it's that we don't field of an Angel is so we don't have to cheat. And you because this is the only term we use that's okay in R&R lexicon today is she. But if you cheat on tests be cheap aren't yours. But best of isn't and it's just kind of called to say I'm not happy with what. Right and I'm not giving in but he passed cheating ways not that bad. That's a whole different segment but. The bottom line is what if we just feel like we're already so happy and joyful within the context what our. So I'd like to Carly convenience switched around lexicon you have achieved in May be called tree. I'd love that I yet have a that I yet and I think that's important that idea no limits and quietly at right side. I'm not you can and she is I'm not have any sugar. I am myself a week later really Bonnie and eat keeping in and I feel guilty. Some accidentally admitting that he'd say maybe balanced and or or controlling indicate its rights and its. Stabilizing. The air not over indulging the Allston not having not mental went exactly connecting linked it directly to straps. I diet and let me up extracting knocks like that need to know yes. Breakdown right right I love that you know because at the end of the day. Just being aware of this process in the body starts to free yes you know so just knowing that you can have something. He's free. You know it's kind of like a lot of people who I've become wealthy they start to realize like I don't buy stuff anymore you know like I can buy it feels good to know I can buy. You know I'm Lester kind west Eagles who biting it's not I'm not talking about that but for the most part as we grow and involved. It just feels good knowing you can't do things rather than edges and you know doing. So but again sometimes you get to urge you going to spending spree are you going to treat yourself and that's okay. So same thing with food it's okay. Like that OK that's making me feel better he. I'm still at the last part outlets get into combat and strapped him he had been trying to exercise and earlier this week on another health episode we talked about deep breathing techniques for combating cravings an abstraction is. But generally in terms and maybe exercise are either an icy path for combating that stress. We'll start with nutritionally adequate so this is really simple I mentioned earlier we need to be proactive not reactive. So making sure that we're getting our macro nutrient and micro nutrient base is covered. People know all about macros today you know if it featured macros so proteins carbohydrates. And and dietary facts. These are important. But the micro nutrients are just imports in these are the minerals Trace minerals vitamins. Entries things like that. Things that really helped unlock processes and body there's certain process and body for example. We take magnesium is responsible 320 by about chemical process that we are aware today. Many of them relating to stress. And so if you're deficient in magnesium which over 80%. The US population it's crazy. Weird this is literally 325 things or body can do can do proper. Experienced stress. Chronic fatigue muscle pain whenever it could be for you depending on your genetic predisposition. But genetics don't control the whole shown. Again this for another segment segment but the bottom line is if we're deficient in these things went causes that all of us dysfunction. And so what we do to keep make sure the stuffed in a body. It's really simple you know make sure that our dies based on hold real food that you can recognize you know so we're not we're not gonna start our day with like. Right. We're gonna start our date with real food that we can recognize where comes from. You're talking fruits vegetables. Grains right so fruits and this is real simple so. The great example eighties if you have somebody from an indigenous. Try coming to your. It's somebody hunter gatherer. Come into your kitchen and they get to go to your refrigerator and your cabinet. And they go over the open up refrigerator and in the freezer and they see Anderson's me like. S. Mind force apps are. We aren't you know they can recognize that right and they go and see your fruits and vegetables and like yes we gather. The nuts and seeds we get these things they can recognize those things. A gain exceeded cinnamon toast. When it in the AC. Even the on the bunny bread right and it just it lost its ass who doesn't. Resemble anything that happens nature's. Real things you can actually recognized so. Breakfast might look like there's December's in the business depends on you get the final works and feels good for you parents yes we have to honor that's what might be. The kind of conventional. Cage free eggs and sound. The green if you dash society's vintage. And some healthy fats avocado. Maybe it sound of that objective now blotter. Or maybe it's the big hot thing now something like fifteen years it screens movies. So that you want to make sure it's heavy on the green. You know and not super high glucose sugar because that's gonna spike and resulting issues with rally. Right so. There's so many different options but those are real food maybe it's in sweet potato and sound a pastor sausage and some green leafy veggies. But noticed one thing that's consistent there. Green leafy. That. You know why they're loaded with micro nutrients and they helped to elicit the function of slept. They hope to turn off. So make sure to get those and adding new. Announcing it correctly team could also get all of here. Amino acids and co didn't hear from from grains and mixing just beans and rice and not having children collagen. It high saturated fats and other meats. And again it just depends on you depends on you or genetic predisposition depends on your heritage. All of these things matter. Again Akron and his high. I don't know much about how they like to eat there are certain crops and things that you could put me what you're eating which tells you. Pound whole how much fat. Suit in here and taking. Times back. He recommends that people Newton met any in particular can regulate any particular it just me yet there's a cost and then got all of. He's different -- wanna find ices you know. The watch season like that there's so much it just depends again. How much you're into that or we can make it super simple which is eat real food and to you feel sees you. And and in have treats where he made so here's the other part. Is upgrade our treats right so. Our good friend of mine wrote. Bestselling books called sweet guy he's got a recipe for sweet tale brownies and there's so. Amazing no sex. I really including something that it's based on real food you know sweet potato that's loaded with micro nutrients. As selling dietary fiber and kind of thing things don't think about having a brownie. But for. The majority people who I've seen it think these are the best price. Ands. We're still having a treat but we're upgrading. The experience for a body you know so maybe we have one brown instead of tree you know as we actually see she. So you wanna have food kind of upgraded treats on hand from. Planning an advance asked me at pro actively hiking out travel early air. And I that I I'm always breaking and I travel and he said travel could affect your three things that's why absolutely. Number one is because we arteries and changing your sleep schedule. And number two just being reactive. To things that I talk due east let's. Plan out Howard you're going to get where you're going where you eat like that investors. Is there are subway. In fracture in his. Own exactly. Hold. Feel like I'm going on my you know they campus on the mama my wife and I'm on my wife packed flatly and elections pick me. When I travel and even today has come in in university travel Whitney and sitting up in Dortmund and food. And so it yet it's being proactive. Situation. And yes so we covered than nutrition. Really quick sleep. So we want and they sure optimizing sleep. If everybody you can just check out. I've got some free episodes podcasts all of history. Endings go to the model so dot com. Tight sleep. And you'll be able to access those all of it in my books which is where I'm books. But if you re really quick it's OK so number one. For improving your sleep qualities actually timing your exercise apple is a state universities that people exercise in the morning even just four minutes. Have more efficient sleep cycles and longer and also tend to have more. Sleep so get at least 5 minutes that morning. Number two you can and give up your devices and where you because lack exposure increases quarter saw. In lowers toning and cortisol is tied up we. Growling eight. So growing and changing your glucose level so you some apps like iPhone it I'm night shift it's built to. Those kind of things. Lasting. Sleep and stress sold the person you had on previously we've talked about amenities. Talked about. Was deeply sorry. And I want to share the study's that this was in medicine and science in sports and activity. Czar in sports and exercise. They found that short. But intense exercise. Can curb. Greetings. On the south specifically for people would lot and into work. He can raise nutrition as it can happen glucose. Body can actually great story goes. While all this tech and Morgan an article online abcnews.com. And get it right at all these tests. Against unseeded and aging so much for joining hazard I'm oblivious necklaces are healthy living for summer experience and finance social media at Whitney is thanks so much for watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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