Snacking is one of the most sought after habits engaged in by students to give vent to their stress levels during periods of exam preparation. But, students often make the mistake of choosing the wrong kinds of foods to snack on during such periods. The snacks which they usually choose is fatty and rich in sugar & additives which is usually harmful to health. Ensuring that they choose their snacks wisely is important. Fat-free snacks can well satisfy their urge to snack during such times, without harming their health.
Stress & Snacking
Studies have shown that subjecting the body to prolonged periods of stress results in the release of cortisol hormone which is an appetite enhancer. So cortisol impels to binge more that too on sugar & fat-rich foods. Consuming sugar-rich foods tend to give a sense of relief from the stressful situation we are facing since it inhibits the activity in that part of the brain where stress and pain are processed. Hence, facing stressful situations tends to act as the trigger for binging on these calorie dense foods to gain that sense of temporary relief. However, stressful snacking can play havoc for our health in the long run since it can cause weight gain.
Switching to Fat free Snacks
Fat free snacks can act as a great substitute for the harmful comfort foods. We need to make conscious food choices especially when preparing for exams since this is the time when food, sleep and health takes backseat. But, what can happen is choices made during such times can tend to develop into habits.
Fat free snacks are foods which have minimum artificial fats & additives which are naturally harmful for health. Fat free snacks need not be store-bought, they can also be simple home foods such as fruits or puffed rice snacks. However, they can also be other yummy snack options such as protein or energy bars, baked banana or potato or tapioca chips, roasted peanuts or chana, or roasted oilseeds which all contain good fats.
Nutrition bars containing these seeds such as sunflower seeds, flaxseeds or chia seeds can also be one of the many wholesome fat-free snacks.
Dealing with Stress Snacking
Few strategies can be employed to avoid stress snacking :
- Avoid stocking & storing sugar & fat-rich snacks at home.
- If present at home, ask your family members to keep the harmful comfort foods far away from your reach in the kitchen, so that you can’t reach it easily.
- Avoid keeping such snacks in your study table or within easy reach.
- Eat at regular intervals and avoid skipping any main meals.