Alternatives for Stress Cravings

Let’s talk about stress cravings. The pile of stress that can come with the thought of midterms and future assignments often times makes us want to turn to sweet or salty stress relievers. So, I want to share with you some alternatives that I have found to fulfill these cravings all while staying with healthier snacks.

So, let’s explore these alternatives: Below I have listed the three tastes we typically acquire and what we can substitute. 

  1. Sour

I want to start with sour because it is something people crave even though they might not necessarily realize it. When we have our sour cravings, one of the first things we think of is sour candy. But when this craving occurs you can have a delicious treat that’s healthier: sorbet! You can also drink some lemon or lime juice, or have an orange. Citrus fruits help curve this craving. Lastly, you can have yogurt or kombucha, which are great sources of protein and antibiotics. 

2. Salty

While most salty foods are not necessarily “bad” or less nutrient-dense, there are a few that just depend on portion control. Some go-to snacks we typically are attracted to are chips, pretzels, pizza, burgers, and fries. Instead you can opt for a cup of popcorn, healthy chips such as the brand Popchips, seaweed, celery, and peanut butter. 

3. Sweet

Lastly, this is what many people crave when our moods change and stress occurs. A sweet tooth can make us crave a numerous amount of foods, but for this specific taste, I’ll only name a few: ice cream, chocolate, and numerous different types of candy. Great alternatives that provide those micro and macronutrients include peanut butter, grains, and fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, and dates. The majority of the time I get that sweet tooth craving I grab some fruit. It’s delicious and makes me forget about that ice cream desire. However, the last two alternatives that I will provide are lower in calories, satisfy your cravings, and are the specific items you desire: frozen yogurt and chocolate! When you desire ice cream, choose frozen yogurt instead; it’s just as good but healthier. Now, when you crave chocolate or candy bars, choose at least 70-percent cocoa chocolate bars. That way, you get what you want but the benefits are higher. Those two options are what I do when I absolutely have my mind set on ice cream or chocolate and do not want to opt out for anything else. I’m personally happier satisfying my sweet tooth this way.

Most importantly, these are just food alternatives. You could also simply utilize some of your free time to do things that make you happy. In previous articles of mine, I mentioned to plan out some free time from your busy day to relax and or do something that makes you happy, such as: walk the beach, look at the sunset, hang with friends or pets, or watch Netflix. By doing something that makes you happy, it will distract you from those cravings and also help you de-stress!