It’s been discovered that stress brings unhealthy food cravings in all of us. It’s normal, researchers say, that you should feel particularly naughty in respect to what you eat, after you have gone through stressful events and situations.
Let’s face it, you’ve really had a bad day. I mean really bad. I mean your car failed to start, you had to take the bus, you never got to your desired workflow, you ran late on your assignments, and you had to stay overtime to finish the job, all the while your boss was nagging you about something that needs to be done tomorrow. That kind of stress.
We’ve all had days like that, whether you work in a hospital, a school, or an office. No matter your line of work, stress is unavoidable. It’s one of the given facts of life. And this latest research shows that it may be unhealthier than we thought. Besides the headaches that we get, it also threatens to destroy your diet.
That’s right. Now, picture yourself in the above scenario. You come home after that awful day and the fridge is empty. What do you do? Of course you’re not going to wander around the supermarket looking for tomatoes, low-fat cheese and whole-grain bread. What you’re going to do is you’re going to order food. And now, the healthy choices are suddenly extremely few.
And then you order pizza.
University of Zurich’s Silvia U. Maier, the lead author of this latest study, would argue that you are predisposed to make this unhealthy choice. Because of the stressful day that you’ve had. What happens is because you feel exhausted, your brain wants to get a reward and makes you crave one of the little things in life that has at some point given you that reward.
The study was conducted on 51 young adults, each having admitted to making efforts to eat healthy, despite enjoying the occasional dose of junk food. Then, they were given questionnaires in which they had to rate about 180 foods according to their liking, based on how healthy they thought it was, as well as how delicious. 29 of the men were subjected to stress inducing procedures, after which they were asked which of the foods rated earlier they would choose.
The research, however, uncovered that you would not choose unhealthy food that you do not like. The greatest dangers are of the junk foods that you do like. In the end, Maier and the team concluded that people having one stressful day in a bunch of normal days are not as likely to change their daily diets as are people who are subjected to constant amounts of stress.
Image source: windows.net