Men and women alike often give into stress. You must have thought of drowning your sorrows with a bucket of ice cream or some leftover cake in the fridge. What you forget in the process is that a high sugar intake can sabotage your health and lead to increased appetite and weight gain. To beat cravings when you’re stressed, you need to understand how the mind-body connection works.
You may have followed the standard rules for weight loss like more exercise, periods of fasting, reduced calorie intake etc., All body types are different, and every method might not work for everyone. When stressed, you just can’t stop your body from self-medicating itself by overeating. So read ahead for some reasons for food cravings when stressed and lifestyle choices that can prevent overeating and weight gain.
Relationship between carbs and serotonin
Popular culture often portrays that an actress or actor gorges on some sweets and ice-creams after a breakup. The example here is relevant because when you eat sugary foods and carbs, it boosts the level of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone that stabilizes your mood and well-being. Unfortunately, this increase in serotonin or a quick high is short-lived and drops very quickly. This brings about repeated cycles of consumption which ultimately leads to weight gain. So although your friend might be a well-wisher when he orders a box full of chocolates to pep you up, it may cause you more harm than good in the long run!
If you experience a strong urge for carbs or sweets, resort to these food items to prevent weight gain.
If you have a sweet tooth or are going through a rough patch in your life, the general tendency is to reach for high-sugar foods like chocolate or ice cream. However, if the frequency of your consumption is increased, you might soon find yourself buying clothes from a plus-size store.
To prevent that from happening, swap your cravings for sugary foods with fruits. They are not only naturally sweet to give you that kick but also healthy. Mix your fruits with some yoghurt for a healthy snack.
2. Dark chocolate
If you’re craving chocolates, make a smarter choice by picking dark chocolate. It contains not only 70% cocoa but also some healthy plant compounds. Dark chocolate’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects help with depression and heart health. However, like regular chocolate, dark chocolate too contains sugar and fat. This necessitates consumption in moderation.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc., are excellent sweet alternatives. They may taste sweet, but their high fibre content compensates for the sweetness. If your food cravings are a result of habits, like munching on some chips when watching television, then swap it with a bowl of berries. They are not only rich in plant compounds but also have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Beans, lentils, chickpeas etc., are thought to increase feelings of fullness. This can help cut down on your hunger-driven sugar cravings. Full of protein and fibre, legumes can aid weight loss and suppress overeating.
A healthy snack that’s high in protein and calcium, yoghurt helps control your appetite. Having yoghurt that is free of added sugar and mixed with fruits and berries can be a fulfilling experience. So rarely, if you order for a doughnut delivery, it is a welcome change.
Drinking a full glass of water before eating your meal has made a person feel satisfied and fuller after the meal. This can cause a reduction in appetite and weight gain.
Weight gain can lead to hypertension, cholesterol, irregular periods in women, heart disease and so much more. Instead of accumulating your stress, learn to relax and regulate your appetite for a healthier future!