Anxiety about Eating Sweets
Chocolate, apple pie, candies of all flavors, muffins, muffins, and raspberries are just some of the many foods. That we like to eat for their sweet taste.
The human being is biologically programmed to consume foods that have a high glycemic index. Which gives a lot of energy and allows for maintaining vital functions. However, sometimes we spend eating sweets, which can lead to health problems. Although we are aware of this. It will likely be difficult for us to control ourselves, reaching the point where we feel very remorseful about it.
Today we are going to talk about anxiety about eating sweets. Which can be understood by sugar addiction. What causes it, and some tips and strategies to deal with sugar so dangerous for our health.
What is meant by anxiety about eating sweets?
The human body needs glucose to function. That is why, when blood sugar levels are below adequate. The body responds by looking for foods that contain high glycemic content, to recover energy, and maintain vital functions.
However, the body cannot distinguish between foods with healthy sugar from those that contain it in too high amounts. That is why many people turn to industrial pastries, chocolate, candies, cakes and other foods with too much-added sugar, using the excuse that they had low glucose and that they needed them, instead of eating foods such as fruits that also have an important contribution of glucose, only natural.
The abusive intake of sugar increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, generating well-being. The increase in dopamine levels, which results in a pleasant experience for the individual, makes him repeat the behavior in the long run. Long-term memory is generated that links sugar to gratification, just like other drugs.
Sugar is, in essence, a substance that produces effects on our brain that are very similar to those of drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol. At first, it seems that your intake is being controlled, but then you want more. Cravings end up becoming more frequent and stronger, in addition to generating tolerance towards sugar and, therefore, requiring higher doses. How many times have we said that we would only eat chocolate and we have finished the box?
Sugar addiction is not the only problem that comes from consuming this substance. Diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, overweight, and weakening of the immune system are caused by this white powder, in addition to which it can momentarily decrease attention and generate temporary apathy.
What can be behind this type of anxiety?
On many occasions, sweets are used for reasons related to emotional problems rather than having the real desire to consume something sugary. In popular culture, the idea is well established that, when faced with a love mismatch or a breakup, the best way to deal with it is to eat a chocolate bar or attack an ice cream container.
Thus, with these foods, it is intended to fill an emotional void, believing that consuming them will bring some relief. The problem is that on many occasions this is how addictions begin, causing the desire to eat it, in the form of anxiety about eating sweets, to return after a while after eating the much-desired sweet.
The curious thing is that it has been seen that, far from helping to cope with emotional problems, the abusive intake of sugar contributes to psychological problems such as depression. This has been addressed in the field of research in psychology.
Other aspects that may be behind an uncontrolled desire to consume sugar are being under a strict diet, in which carbohydrates are eliminated as if it were poison. Also, boredom helps you go to the pantry to see what’s there.
How to control the desire to eat sweets?
Because wanting to drink something sweet is a very common problem in the population, there are many strategies and advice that have been given to win the battle over sugar. Here are some of them.
1. Identify Emotions
The anxiety to eat something sweet does not arise because it does. There has to be something that explains it, and in many cases, this type of behavior arises from the need to fill an emotional void.
It is therefore very important to know how to identify the emotions that are behind the desire to eat something that does not touch.
When the idea of eating a piece of cake or a chocolate bar starts to run through our minds, we must ask ourselves what has caused us to have that ‘need’ now. We can also ask ourselves if we have satiated ourselves with the previous meal.
It may be that, due to a family or work problem, we are more anxious than usual, trying to calm down by taking food that we think we need, although it is not.
Once these emotions are identified, we can try to address them through more effective strategies than not eating sweets uncontrollably.
2. Distract the mind
Sometimes anxiety about eating candy can be caused by simple boredom or because nothing else is being done. This desire to drink something comes and goes, regardless of whether or not the much desired sweet is consumed.
For this reason, a good way to avoid falling into temptation is to keep your mind busy and, if possible, away from the kitchen.
Some good ways to distract attention from the urge to have a cake or a treat are to read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, paint a picture …
Physical activity is something that cannot be missed in the life of anyone who claims to have good health habits.
Sport contributes to de-stressing, in addition to increasing mood by releasing endorphins and inducing a deep state of well-being.
But not only this type of activity helps the body to be healthy and burns calories, but it also makes us less likely to dock with sweets after an intense sports session.
Although burning calories requires replenishing energy, being relaxed contributes to making more thoughtful decisions, for example, instead of taking a cake as soon as we get home, we choose to take a rich and healthy apple.
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4. Don’t buy Candy
It may seem like a no-brainer, but one of the best ways to prevent anxiety from eating sweets from overtaking us is by not having them at home.
Most binge eating happens when you are bored at home, and between one thing leading to another, we end up going to the kitchen, looking at the pantry, finding a chocolate bar and eating it whole.
A good enough option to discourage yourself from buying sweets is to calculate how much you spend each week buying them. If you see a lot of money being lost in this way for something that only lasts a few minutes in our mouth, we may be less likely to buy it.
If with all this you are not able to control the impulse to buy sweets, you are likely facing a problem that requires the intervention of a dietitian and a psychologist, especially if there is a possibility that you are facing addiction.
5. Eat a Healthy, Balanced and Realistic Diet
One of the big mistakes that many people who want to compulsively eat sweets make is that they submit to a strict diet. This, in addition to being dangerous to health because there is a risk of stopping taking many nutrients, is something very unsustainable in the long term.
Eliminating carbohydrates from the diet makes you, after a few weeks, more likely to binge on all the foods that were ‘forbidden’ when on a diet.
The best option is to follow a healthy, balanced, and realistic diet, in which all food groups are represented. It is highly recommended to follow the advice of a nutritionist to ensure that you have all the necessary nutrients with it.
6. Eat Five Meals a Day
It is very common to hear, either in the media or in the closest circle, that it is recommended to eat five meals spread throughout the day. This recommendation is not accidental.
Eating more or less every three hours allows controlling impulses to eat foods that are not convenient for health. The key is to be satiated in the morning and at noon. With full energy stores, eating anxiety is less likely to arise.
Breakfast should be complete and nutritious, with a contribution of between 400 and 450 calories. Which should include dairy, carbohydrates such as whole wheat bread, proteins such as tuna or tofu. And there should always be at least one piece of fruit.
Mealtime is equally important. Food taken at noon must have a significant contribution to fiber and protein. Legumes and vegetables should never be missing, in addition to incorporating healthy fats such as olive oil or avocado.
7. Drink more water
On many occasions, the desire to drink something sweet and, in general, hunger, is confused with thirst. If you drink a lot of the liquid element the stomach is full. Not being able to fit anything else and having less desire to take food.
It is very important that if you decide to opt for this option. Only take water or infusions with a certain sweet flavor such as chamomile or lavender, without adding sugar or honey.
Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea, increase anxiety because this substance increases nervousness. Besides, the very bitter taste of these drinks makes it tend to look for something sweet to counter it.
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8. Eat Sweet but Healthy
If all attempts to put sweets aside have failed, a good option is to gradually substitute refined sweets for more natural sweets.
Understanding natural sweets as those that do not have added sugar. We must speak of chocolate with more than 85% cocoa, nuts, dried fruit such as dates and dried apricots, and, of course, whole fruit.
Strawberries, apples, oranges, and bananas are excellent natural treats that satiate us with an important contribution of fiber and water.
If the palate is not yet educated and these delicacies are perceived as bland. They can always be sweetened with natural sweeteners such as cinnamon, cocoa powder, or grated coconut.
Meditation is always a good option to control impulses and make us aware of what our real needs are.
This can be a complicated thing to do, but it never hurts to try it. If you can master focus, stay calm, and be aware of what is needed. Anxiety about eating sweets is something that will seldom appear.
10. Read labels
To become more aware of the amount of sugar you are taking. It is highly recommended to read the labels of the products you buy. Things that do not seem to have sugar, surprisingly. They have it and in great quantity: tomato sauces, supermarket bread, sausages …
If it is possible to detect the added sugar in food. And choose to buy those that have not been sweetened. In addition to feeling healthier. We will have a better relationship with food and we will gradually detoxify from this substance.
11. Brush your teeth after eating
It may seem like a rather unhelpful tip. But the truth is that it works in a way that even surprises. When we brush our teeth, especially with mint-flavored paste, we have a fresh mouth with a sweet flavor.
This makes them less eager to eat sweets and ‘dirty’ their mouths. In addition to the fact that mint makes the food taste change for a short period, making them less palatable.
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