Do you crave sugary snacks and junk food after a long, hard day at work? Don't just blame poor willpower – your cravings could have a physiological basis. These foods boost blood sugar levels and manipulate brain chemicals in such a way that more serotonin is produced (the "calm" chemical). Unfortunately, the mechanism could be disastrous in terms of weight management.
Prevent low blood sugar by eating regular, small meals during the day; keep a store of low-energy snacks handy in your drawer at work; drink chamomile, lemon balm, lavender, or valerian herbal teas to soothe frazzled nerves during the day; small amounts of protein (cheese, eggs, chicken, meat) contain the amino acid tryptamine that can give you a boost when stress tires you out – take small portions to work; avoid refined starches like white bread, pasta, rice and potatoes; and eat fat-free foods so that you don’t run the risk of picking up weight.
Read more about the mechanisms involved in stress eating.