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Have you ever had a stressful day; one with deadlines and to-do lists that seemed insurmountable?   Have you ever noticed that during these times your cravings for comfort foods rises?  Well this has been a frequent occurrence for me recently as I’ve been working hard these past few months on several projects.  I have been struggling to resist the urge to eat donuts, chocolate and ice cream.

According to the Harvard Health Publications, short term stress can shut down appetite by sending messages to the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline.  Over time the adrenals release cortisol which increases appetite.  And if stress continues, cortisol levels may stay elevated.

This effects the type of food we choose.  Studies show that emotional  or physical distress increases the intake of foods high in fat and sugar.  Stressed people tend to lose sleep, exercise less and drink more alcohol.  Moreover, processed junk foods affect the reward centers in the brain similar to drugs.

So what kind of things could I do to relieve stress instead of grabbing unhealthy foods?  What kind of things should I do to “just say no?”

Here is a list of healthy alternatives:

-Take a walk/engage in some form of exercise
-Listen to my favorite music
-Read a good book
-Find ways to laugh more
-Snuggle up to my better half

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