I have had a stressful few days – which makes me appreciate how most of the time my life is pretty good 🙂
It has also led me to notice that – though I sometimes pat myself on the back for eating well and looking after myself – when I am stressed, my eating can be appalling!
Suddenly all my smugness about not succumbing to chocolate and sweet things is replaced by two things – one is guilt and feeling sick! – and the other is this overwhelming desire to stuff – and I do mean stuff – to stuff myself with things containing refined sugar – it is like I have been taken over by a sugar craving monster!
And so I decided – rather than shame myself over this – that I would research the science behind my current hunger for sugar.
And what I found is this:
When we are stressed we release a hormone called cortisol and when our bodies are awash with cortisol we crave sugar. On top of this, when we are feeling anxious or depressed – our bodies respond by wanting to bring up our serotonin levels – one way to increase serotonin production is to eat more carbohydrates – specially sugar.
So I just want make it very clear – to myself – and to others – that if we are having a tough time and find ourselves binging on sugar – whatever you do don’t increase your misery by shaming yourself for this choice. All that is happening is that you body is trying to find short term ways of coping. So give yourself a break and be kind to yourself – and once your current stress is less acute your eating will gradually rebalance 🙂