As we all know too well, the holidays are a time of indulgence. You may find yourself craving turkey leftovers or another slice of pumpkin pie a little more than usual, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, learning to manage your cravings now will result in a happier holiday season.
Nearly everyone has cravings. In fact, surveys estimate that almost 100% of young women and nearly 70% of young men had food cravings during the past year. So, what causes you to want chocolate every night? Research suggests that food cravings arise to satisfy emotional needs, such as reducing stress or anxiety. Therefore, cravings are at their most intense when when we're anxious or worried, which could explain why the holiday stress makes us crave indulgences more than usual.
● Constant worrying
● Feeling overwhelmed
● Digestive problems
● Increase heart rate
● Chest pain
● And more
Carbohydrates increase levels of the hormone serotonin, which has a calming effect, while recent research suggests the combination of fat and sugar may also help relax us. However, while food may be a short term fix for your psychological holiday stress, studies show that consistently high sugar and fat intake causes physical stress to the brain. Specifically, it increases inflammation in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory. So, while indulging in treats may temporarily reduce your psychological stress, it can actually cause long term physical stress.
If you are looking for alternative ways to reduce stress and cravings, Touchpoints can be effective stress management gadgets. These wearable devices work by using BLAST technology to manage stress response by altering the body’s Fight, Flight, or Freeze (F3) response, which can help reduce stress in as little as 30 seconds. Touchpoints Original also comes with a cravings preset, because we know the holidays come with even more tasty temptations.
To learn more about how Touchpoints can help manage your stress this holiday season, click here.
Sources: https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-facts-about-food-cravings#1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26970578