Halloween cravings may be uniquely influenced by seasonal changes. Studies show that as days get shorter, and we are exposed to less sunshine, serotonin activity may be affected. Since eating carbohydrates enhances serotonin synthesis, carbohydrate consumption may be a behavioral way to increase serotonin levels and improve our mood. Other researchers say that sweet cravings are mainly determined by culture or by psychological and behavioral factors, rather than by physiology. Chances are that a combination of factors is responsible.
Availability and proximity probably trump all of the other reasons why we crave and overeat sweets. When tasty foods are around, we simply eat more of them. That’s why Halloween is such a trap. Halloween candy is novel; it only comes around once a year. It comes in small pieces, so you fool yourself into thinking you’re not eating as much. You put it in bowls around the house and eat it mindlessly.
If you have a strong desire for sweets, it may be a sign that you’re depressed, anxious or stressed. But the good news is that you don’t have to indulge in sweets to raise your serotonin levels or to feel good. Exercising, stress management, and spending time with loved ones are activities that will also help reduce depression, anxiety and stress. It’s also important to understand the core of your emotional problems and for that, you may need to seek help from a professional.
Experts agree that if you do find you overeat then you should give yourself a break. Don’t dwell on the negative, and get over it! Analyze objectively what you can do differently next time.
Mr. Divabetic plays his nutrition game, Serve, Taste or Trash! with New Yorkers at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Central Park
TUNE IN: Free Diabetes ‘PINK FRIDAY’ Podcast Inspired by Nicki Minaj saluting Breast Cancer Survivors living with diabetes and raising awareness for Domestic Violence with guests: Connie Frazier RD, CDE, Kathy Gold RN, CDE, Catherine Schuller, Connie Elder, Mama Rose Marie and Leola C., from Grand Rapids, MI living with type 1 diabetes http://ning.it/PUQy9B
See Mr. Divabetic’s nutrition game, Serve, Taste or Trash! You must decide which one you’d serve, which one you’d taste and which one you’d trash.
Before you decide to “trash” a veggie for good, why not try to eat it raw? Raw veggies can be more appetizing than their cooked counterparts to people who aren’t crazy about vegetables. The flavors of raw veggies can be milder than those of cooked ones.
Meet Mr. Divabetic on his quest to glamorize good health at the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Expo in Pittsburgh, PA.