Decoding Stress Eating: Empowering Strategies to Beat the Sugar Cravings
In the video, the narrator talks about the psychological and physiological implications of stress eating.
Stress eating is a common coping mechanism where people often resort to foods that are high in sugar and refined flour. These foods prompt a release of dopamine, the 'feel-good' chemical in the brain, creating an immediate but short-lived feeling of relief and calm. However, consistent daily indulgence in such foods can lead to a decreased sensitivity to dopamine, leading to an increased need for these foods to achieve the same 'feel-good' effect, creating a vicious cycle.
The narrator provides three practical strategies to control stress eating.
The first is to find a powerful reason not to turn to food as a coping mechanism. For instance, not wanting to lose progress made in weight loss can act as a deterrent to stress eating. The second strategy is using 'Stoppers' – activities or items that help curb the urge to continue eating, particularly useful in avoiding desserts after meals.
An example of a Stopper could be chewing a minty, sugar-free gum or sipping hot tea after a meal, both of which change the taste in your mouth and signal the brain that the meal has ended. The final strategy is to keep junk food out of the house, as their availability during stress can easily trigger stress eating.
The video concludes by reminding viewers that although stress is an inevitable part of life, it is important to manage its effects on eating habits. The narrator leaves a note on maintaining the discipline to keep up with good habits during stressful times, without aiming to be perfect, and reminds viewers that all cravings pass over time.
Stress eating is a common coping mechanism linked with the release of 'feel-good' dopamine in the brain, which creates an immediate sense of relief.
Regular consumption of high sugar and refined flour foods can desensitize the brain to dopamine, leading to increased consumption to reach the same level of relief.
Find a strong reason not to turn to food as a stress coping mechanism. This reason can help deter the urge to eat junk food.
Use 'Stoppers' such as minty, sugar-free gum or hot tea to change your mouth's taste after a meal and help subdue the urge to continue eating.
Keep junk food out of your house to avoid easy availability during times of stress.
All cravings pass over time, whether you give in to them or not. It's important to remember this during moments of intense craving brought on by stress.