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Heidi

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Mom, desperately trying to get the health thing right! I started this blog so that I can pass along all the great things that I learn everyday on damage control for our wonderful bodies. It is tough to keep up sometimes with all the things going on in our daily lives so hopefully some of the helpful hints that I provide can make your life easier and healthier. I welcome your comments and tips as well! I am a vegetarian, animal rights advocate and avid animal rescuer.
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2009-03-12

Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards! Why We Crave Sweets When Things Are Going Crazy!

At last my reasons for eating tons of chocolate when stressed is revealed! In an attempt to be healthy and domestic I was reading my favorite cookbook Eat, Shrink and Be Merry by Janet and Greta Podleski and discovered why we crave sweets when stressed. It is a relief to know that it is not just a mental thing (I already have enough issues as it is) to have a chocolate emergency kit for those days when I just can’t cope.

Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards! Why We Crave Sweets When Things Are Going Crazy!

When we are under stress, the hormones cortisol and adrenaline rise. These stress hormones take sugar out of your liver and rush it into your blood, making energy readily available for fight or flight. I suppose if you are going to need to lift a car off someone or be chased by bears this could be beneficial but really how often does that happen nowadays? In this day and age most or our stress is mental rather than physical but our bodies don’t know the difference. Once the stress is gone, our bodies insist on replacing the sugar stolen from our livers (ahhhh-enter the delicious chocolate cravings). To do that, stress hormones make us hungry, especially for sweets.

Over long periods of time, too much cortisol wreaks havoc on your system, disturbing your sleep, lowering your immunity, and eating away at the muscle you need to burn fat. It also encourages the body to store abdominal fat for easy burning during stressful times. Since the body’s stress reaction doesn’t have an automatic “off” switch it’s up to you to find a way-mental or physical-to shut it down. Find something that relaxes you in those stressful times. Exercise, meditating (I always think of the ocean), a relaxing bath, reading your favorite book, whatever works for you. Amazing how clever our physical bodies are trying to help us out but now we just need to find a way to work together so that we do not gain weight and live on those delicious yet generally unhealthy sweets.

P.S. Sandi at Pregnant With Cancer passed on an award to me which I will post next time around. Woohooo! Thank you Sandi!

25 comments:

Sandi said...
I crave sweets too! This is good to hear. haha And you are most welcome.
Chris said...
It just makes sense as so many women crave chocolate and other sweets at certain times. Thanks for the informative article Heidi
Swubird said...
Heidi:

We all have those cravings when mother stress calls upon us. She's a fickled though. If you eat sweets to calm your nerves, an hour later you will feel tired and empty. Best stick with natural foods and work it off with light exercise.

Another great post. You are becoming quite the health sage.

Happy trails.
foongpc said...
That's a good explanation why we crave sweet stuffs at the time of stress. And stressed is indeed desserts spelled backwards! Haha!
Steve Borgman said...
Very interesting, I guess that's why (I can't remember her name :( gained 2 lbs last week on the biggest loser show. Am I stressed? I just consumed almost whole Supreme Cafe and Cacao Frey Chocolate bar! It must have been because I ate too healthy a breakfast and lunch.... ;)
betchai said...
I craved for a lot of sweets last week, but thankfully, I am all over it now :) I find out when I give in to myself a little bit, the craving subsides and go away. If I fight it, the more stressed I become ( stress or depress?) and I tend to eat a lot more other things. Right now, I really am hungry, but I do not look for sweets :)

Thanks again for another interesting and helpful post.
Lynne said...
I LOVE your title! I never thought of the 2 words that way, but it really makes sense!
Flo said...
Hello! I'm a new visitor. I love your blog. It's so informative! Keep up the good work. :)
Duni said...
I'm not much of a sweet-tooth, but I do crave chocolate at 'a certain time of month'. I usually give in to my cravings, since I don't eat much sweets the rest of the time!
Jacqueline said...
In all of my days, I never flipped that word around. I guess I was too busy focusing on the sweetness. :-) Excellent explanation Heidi. Thanks for helping us become wiser.
Jena Isle said...
Hi Heidi,

Very vital pointers indeed. Thanks for the very informative article. I love sweets too, cakes, ice creams and all those chocolates..yummy..but well, I've learned from your post. Cheers.
Sadie said...
Oh my gosh! I never noticed that stressed was desserts backwards! I feel so blond right now...

Great info, too! Now that I understand why, maybe I can help fight it! :)
attygnorris said...
Ha! I never noticed "stressed" is "desserts" spelled backwards. I'm fasting from sweets right now (for a month). It's funny that because of my fast, I'm REALLY craving sweets. I had the nastiest cup of unsweetened green tea last night. I'm going to enjoy some ice cream in another month like I never have before.

Davida
Bill said...
Yeah for me it is just about before i go to bed when i want something sweet. Have a great weekend. Hedi
Jarlin said...
Nice post...Invite you to my blog and leave your comments.
gLoR!e said...
i love chocolates but i don't crave that much when i am crazy! hehe
EastCoastLife said...
I munch on chocolates and potato chips when I'm stressed. :P
tashabud said...
I'm trying to give up sugar and chocolates. I'm into my fourth day, and I'm craving them so much. I hope that if I fight it long enough, I'll succeed in the end. Just so hard for right now.
Penny said...
Argh I am craving them so much recently, though I'm more bored rather than stressed. I wish our bodies didn't want us to do these bad things!!
Cascia said...
I agree it does make complete sense. I have to have my nightly dose of chocolate after the kids are in bed. I blame it on the stress. I also have that cookbook and love it.
Maria said...
I must be REALLY stressed out because not a single day goes by that I don't have at least one dessert!
iWalk said...
This is so interesting.

So sweets help us a lot. Wow, I want eat some chocolate now!
Joanne said...
I didnt associate sweet cravings with stress but it makes sense. I do try and avoid anything with sugar as much as possible but its hard to not give in once in awhile!
Joanne
Nee-Nee Kroeger said...
I know this is bad but I usually just give in to my cravings...I'm working on it though
Great post! I love sweets whether I am stressed or not... :D

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