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Why do I crave carbs when I'm stressed?

Chris Powell
Fitness
We crave carbs when we're stressed out, because we have a strong emotional connection and attachment to carb-heavy comfort foods. In this video, I will explain why awareness of physical vs. emotional hunger is important. 
Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that improves mood. Carbohydrates increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. Therefore, eating carbohydrates can increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, which improves our mood. The only problem is that when we are stressed, we crave simple carbs, which raise serotonin levels quickly but temporarily.
Many women have shunned carbohydrates as a way to lose weight. Yet we often crave certain carbohydrate-rich foods (think sweets) when we're depressed or stressed because carbohydrates produce serotonin, which floods us with good feelings and calmness. That blood sugar spike is followed quickly by a crash -- often compounded by feelings of guilt about the enormous piece (or two) of cake we've just eaten.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.