There might actually be a real reason why you reach for chocolate when work deadlines get too much. "When we are under stress our nutrient requirement increases and our bodies crave salt, sugar and high carbohydrate foods," Nutritional Medicine Practitioner Fiona Tuck tells Be. "Continual reaching for the doughnuts plays havoc with the waistline. Choose nutrient dense foods such as fruit smoothies, veggies, wholegrains, nuts and seeds."
Ever wondered why having a sip of champagne can see you charging after that canapé-wielding waiter? "Alcohol can cause blood sugar dips which in turn can lead to the need to eat," explains Fiona. "Not only that, alcohol can increase ghrelin, our hunger hormone which in turn triggers us to eat."
It sounds simple but taking the time to slow down and enjoy your food can actually see you beat cravings later on. "The act of chewing our food thoroughly not only starts the digestive process; it helps send messages to our stomach to help us feel satiated or satisfied after eating," explains Fiona.
One more reason to drink water: dehydration symptoms can often be mistaken for hunger. "Symptoms can be similar to hunger such as light headedness, fatigue, crankiness and an inability to concentrate," says Fiona. "Up your fluid intake and aim to drink 8 glasses of filtered water daily."
Not getting enough sleep can leave us cranky and craving coffee, but it can also see you snacking more, too. "When we are sleep deprived our hormone levels can change leading to an increase in our hunger hormone ghrelin and a decrease in the hormone leptin, the hormone that helps keep us feeling satiated," says Fiona.
We've been told we're making the healthier choice by going low fat, but Fiona says this isn't the case. "Low fat diet foods have a reduced fat content which is often replaced by higher sugar content. Reducing fat in our meals can lead to a lack of satiety after eating which in turn can lead to an urge to want to eat more," she says. Her tip? Include small amounts of healthy fats with each meal.