*Full Disclaimer: I am no health expert, but here is some advice based on my experiences with oh so many food cravings.
During the most stressful of times, I think we all tend to care less about what we choose to eat. When we are super busy and everything is just work work work work work and suddenly you have this craving to get a burger, we all tell ourselves: “You know what? I have been working so hard, I deserve to eat a Big Mac with a vanilla milkshake with a large fry and a soda." Or for those of you who do not like to eat McDonalds but definitely have cravings: brownies, pizza, milkshakes, pancakes, cookies (or in my case sugar cookies and chips). Sometimes we even eat way too much of something that is considered “good” for us simply because we are stressing.(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)
When we are stressing, who wants to add to the stress by worrying about what we eat? Some of us consider desserts as a reward. However, even when you’re stressed you should never downplay the importance of your health; especially when it will affect you and how you feel every day. So here are some tips on how to curb some of those worst cravings while you’re extremely stressed.
Water is really essential for every day, but let me tell you the importance of drinking water when you are craving those 50 cent candies at CVS! Every time you get that feeling where you want something with high salt, fat, or sugar, pick up a glass of water. Throw in some fruit or berries for some flavor! If you are actually hungry, of course eat a little something, but you will be able to tell if it is hunger or a craving by drinking water first. Besides, it will help you drink all the water needed to function through the day!
Find a substitute of a snack that won't make you feel tired, sleepy or slow. Substitute a craving for potato chips with some apple or kale chips, apple slices with peanut butter, or yogurt and granola. At least you can get some nutrition that will help you through the stress of the day rather than eating something that will make you feel slow and bloated. (An extra tip: if you don't know where to start, start with YouTube! There are a lot of professionals offering to give you free advice.)
Make a diary to track what you are eating when you are stressed. A lot of the time we stop paying attention and put our nutritional health to the back of our minds, so by focusing on writing everything down, you can stay aware of what your body needs when you are too focused on what else needs to be done. There is only one you, so take care of yourself and feel good and energized while you work through every day! P.s. Write it down right after eating!
On the lines of tracking what you are eating daily, pre-plan what you eat! If you don’t have the time to write down at the beginning of the day everything you are going to eat, or prefer to be more spontaneous, just stick to eating only things you buy for yourself. Go to the supermarket (full, not hungry), bring a list of items you know you would enjoy and that have actual nutritional value, and go wild!(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)
The most important thing to remember when you are stressed is making sure that you not only eat, but that you eat food your body will thank you for. By making sure to remember that you need actual nutrition and cannot rely on cravings, you’ll work better, feel better, and mentally feel capable of doing anything!