In this day and age, stress is always a factor in our ever-changing lives. For some, stress may arise from staying up all night trying to finish a paper. For others, it may be struggling to stay on top of work at busy jobs, while somehow finding time to exercise, cook, clean the house, and do laundry. As a college student, I know that many of my peers cope with this stress through sugar. It is the fastest form of energy after all, so it is no wonder that our body gravitates towards that when it is feeling sluggish.
Sugar that is found is sweets is called simple sugar because it is easily and quickly digested by our bodies. The more sugar we eat, the more energized we feel.
The connection between stress and sugar has been studied extensively. This recent study found that consumption of sweetened beverages (example: soda) interferes with normal physiological responses of your body to stressful situations. In other words, sugar can help reduce the effects you feel from being under stress. It is no wonder that people grab for sugar under stress! As we know from our last blog, sugar can have a real negative impact on our health in the long term.
It is important to find alternatives to eating sweets in stressful situations in order to maintain your health and feel great.
Try these tips!
1. When you’re feeling stressed, take a walk! This can help get your mind off of your busy day and get your body up and moving. Exercise increases endorphin levels, which boosts your mood and has you feeling great.
2. Set your phone timer for 20 minutes and read a book, watch TV, take a power nap, clean your house, or any other activity that will remove you from your work. Sometimes, all we need is a quick brain break!
3. If you know that you are going to have a long day, prepack your favorite purposeful snack. For example, this can be trail mix, cheese and crackers, or vegetables and hummus. Doing this will prevent you from spending money on a vending machine or in café on a high sugar snack.
4. Be able to say no. It is all to easy and often expected for us to say yes. You may be saying yes to staying at work later to help a colleague or saying yes to just one more internship or job for your resume. If your schedule is already jam-packed, it is okay to say no! Say no will give you a sense of control in your life.
Share how you cope with stress on the Sweet Life Wellness Facebook Page!
Call to book your complimentary coaching call with Kay today at: 301-869-1787 if you want more advice on emotional eating.
Sweet Life Wellness Student Intern
Dietetics student at University of Maryland-College Park