Why We Eat Junk Food When We Are Stressed

We all know that there’s a relationship between food and emotions. When we’re sad, depressed or stressed we eat junk foods and sweets – and feel so much better a little later.

Now there’s nothing wrong with eating a teeny tiny scoop of Cookies and Cream, but when we’re stressed or emotional, we tend to lose track of the amount of food we eat. This is where the problem comes in. Stress leads to overeating and overeating results in weight problems. It should also be noted that this is junk food we’re talking about, which means you will not only gain weight, but possibly develop some health problems.

The key to dealing with stress is to find better and healthier alternatives to our favorite junk foods and sweets.

Registered dietitian Julie Upton of health.com recommends the following junk alternatives:

Sugar-free gum

Keep it where you can easily reach for it, such as your desk, your handbag, gym bag or even your car. Ms. Upton suggests going for mint flavored gums because their flavor lasts longer and alters the taste of sweet tasting foods and makes them less appealing.

Crystal light lemonade

Mix a packet of Crystal Light On The Go with a bottle of water. Ms. Upton shares that “it should hit the spot for about 20 minutes.”

Silk Light hot chocolate

Silk Light is hot chocolate made healthier. Ms. Upton uses Skin Light soy milk (which only has 80 calories)with dark cocoa powder and presto! You have a healthier – but just as delicious hot chocolate drink.

Sunsweet prune gems

Sunsweet prune gems are delicious and nutritious. They are full of fiber but only have 25 calories apiece. And since they are individually wrapped, that little “delay” in getting to the next one helps the brain catch up with your stomach and “recognize” if you are already full.

Starbucks chocolate-covered biscotti

If you really must have chocolate, Ms. Upton recommends Starbucks’ chocolate-flavored biscotti. Biscotti are lower in calories and fat than other cookies, and Starbucks’ chocolate-flavored biscotti are covered with just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy your cravings.

Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte

Since you’re already at your local Starbucks’ Upton suggests pairing your biscotti with a Tall Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte. It’s rich and super sweet, yet it only packs only 90 calories. The secret: skim milk. It gives you all the nutrients of milk minus the calories.

Source: health.com