Food Cravings Can Be Addictive; Choose Healthy Snacks
If a stressful day at the office leads to raiding the refrigerator late at night, do not feel guilty. It may have nothing to do with willpower.
The word “stressed” spelled backwards spells “desserts.” So it is no wonder that at the end of a stressful day we usually reach for chocolate, ice cream, cookies or cake.
For most people, the craving has nothing to do with willpower. Instead, it has to do with hormones.
People tend to turn to sweet treats when under stress, because carbohydrates stimulate an especially powerful release of pleasure-producing hormones in the body. The greater the sensation of pleasure, the less the stress.
However, food cravings can become like any other addiction, and before you know it, the sweet snack could begin to take a toll on the waistline and even your health.
It may be surprising to know that the best thing to do when a stress-related craving occurs is to give in to the temptation. The longer the craving is denied, the stronger it gets.
Instead of mindlessly reaching for candy bars or cakes, try to eat sweet, but nutritious, complex carbohydrates.
These foods have the same calming effect as other sweets, but they are less harmful to the waistline because they have fewer calories. They are also high in nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Some suggestions include: reduced-fat ice cream with fresh fruit, whole grain waffles with a teaspoon of lite maple syrup and fresh fruit, oatmeal and fiber cereal. If you are craving chocolate, keep a can of chocolate meal substitute chilled so it is ready when you are.