Many people can't resist sweets when under stress

Things you can do to avoid stress eating

Stress makes you more likely to reach for the biscuit tin. This health tip explains why our body reacts this way and what you can do to curb your cravings for sweets.
Just a quick chocolate bar or cookie before you start on your next task – many people succumb to the temptation of sweets when under pressure. The reasons for this have a lot to do with adrenaline, the hormone we release when we're stressed.

Why do we reach for sweets more often when we're stressed?

Stress puts our body into a state of alert. The initial result is that the adrenaline we release suppresses any desire for food. In the subsequent recovery phase, however, the body tries to replenish what it just used up. That's when you start craving easy-to-digest carbohydrates such as crisps, chocolate or sweetened drinks. These foods provide temporary comfort and relief, but no nutritionist would ever recommend them.

Tips to combat out-of-control stress eating

To help you stay clear of that bag of crisps or bar of chocolate, consider the following tips:

  • Make sure that you eat a balanced and adequate diet and that you drink enough liquids throughout the day to keep you from becoming ravenously hungry. A craving for sweets often actually means that you're thirsty.
  • Regular exercise is an ideal way of countering stress when things are hectic at work and can help you to relax.
  • Some people find it helpful to read a book before going to bed. This lets you switch off before you fall asleep and forget about whatever is causing you stress.
  • Take a short power nap at lunchtime (also see the "Boost your productivity with power naps" health tip).
  • The next time you're in a stressful situation, give yourself a moment and remind yourself to take a couple of deep breaths.

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SWICA supports healthy nutrition

A balanced diet strengthens wellbeing and health over the long term. As a holistic healthcare organisation, SWICA focuses on the health of its customers and not just on their illnesses. That's why SWICA customers enjoy prevention contributions of up to CHF 900* per year plus a wide range of health offers relating to nutrition.

*Click here for details on how to participate.

In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.