Not only does stress negatively affect our health, but it also affects our sugar cravings. Many people start eating greater portions of sugary stuff when they are under stress or have anxiety. However, have you ever thought about why this happens?
The Link Between Stress and Sugar Cravings
According to research, there is a deep correlation between stress and sugar cravings. Whenever a person is under stress, his brain activity increases. His brain starts producing a bulk of cortisol that is a very powerful stress hormone. The brain, as well as this hormone, starts affecting the other parts of the body and hinders your mental performance. You must know that our brain feeds only on the sugar that we intake. In the situation of increased activity by the brain, the need for sugar intake increases because the brain needs sugar to continue working. As a result, a person develops a sudden urge to have some sweet stuff.
When stress is chronic, a person may face an increased level of sugar cravings. In such a situation, unhealthy and excessive sugar intake starts to harm your body in numerous ways. The most common side effect of increased sugar cravings is obesity or weight gain. Therefore, it becomes crucially important to manage your stress to control your sugar cravings.
Hunger vs Sugar Cravings
It is important for all of us to understand the difference between hunger and sugar cravings. Hunger is the appetite when your body actually needs food to perform its duties. In contrast, cravings are just the desires of the brain/body even when you are not hungry, or your body doesn’t require food. If you are not hungry, you should not eat because it would only leave adverse health impacts on you.
Manage Your Sugar Cravings
Instead of giving in whenever you crave sugar, try to manage your sugar cravings. This is especially important when you have frequent attacks of stress or anxiety. Here are some very effective, useful, and simple techniques that can greatly help you manage your sugar cravings, especially under stress.
- Learn the difference between hunger and cravings.
Learning the difference between hunger and craving is important. You must know when it is time to fuel up your body through food or when you should avoid eating. When you know the difference between these two, you would be able to better manage your sugar cravings.
- Change your eating schedule.
It has been seen that our body desires the food at those times when we are used to eating. Similarly, your body and brain know when it is time for sugar intake. At that time, your brain starts sending you signals to eat something sweet because it is the time for sweet intake. To help yourself in staying safe from this, change your eating schedule. For example, if you have been having dinner at 7 pm, start having it at 6 pm or 8 pm and don’t complement it with sugar. In this way, you would be able to control your sugar cravings at certain times.
- Don’t starve yourself but keep yourself fulfilled.
Most of the time, we start having sugar cravings when we are already hungry. To manage your sugar cravings, it is important to keep yourself fulfilled. This would help you combat your stress and sugar intake because you would be already full. Especially, make it a habit to eat healthy fruits and vegetables whenever you are stressed. Doing so will help you in controlling your sugar cravings and protecting your wellbeing.
- Never completely cut-off your sugar intake.
The main mistake that many people make is that they completely cut off their sugar intake. This practice would result in greatly increasing the sugar cravings. It is human nature that whenever we are asked to stay away from a particular thing, it attracts us the most. Therefore, keep on eating the sugary stuff that is the lowest proportion and not daily.
- Keep healthy sugar meals handy.
Ultimately, stress leads us to eat highly unhealthy and highly sugary food items such as cakes, muffins, cold drinks, chocolates, and other sweets. Instead of eating these unhealthy things whenever you crave the sugar, keep some healthier alternative nearby. For example, consider buying fresh fruits, frozen yogurt, and homemade ice-cream with low sugar content. Whenever you feel stressed and have sugar cravings, eat any of these things. They won’t only fulfil your craving but also avoid harming your wellbeing.
Stress has a negative impact on your sugar cravings, and it makes them worse. Due to stress, a person goes through an increase in sugar cravings that ultimately leave many adverse health effects. Therefore, it is vital to manage your stress and sugar cravings by the tactics above. When you learn to manage your sugar cravings, you will be able to protect your mental health and wellbeing.