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27 March 2009

Beat stress eating

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.

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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.

Take action:
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 instress eating.

 
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