Even if you have a huge sweet tooth, you've probably noticed that your sweets cravings skyrocket at certain times. (Even when you're not expecting your period for another week and a half.)
Why? Turns out, stress could be the culprit. According to Dr. Jim LaValle, R.Ph., C.C.N., a clinical pharmacist, author and board-certified clinical nutritionist, stress can make you crave sugar, since eating sweets can help increase production of serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter.
It makes sense, then, that Dr. LaValle recommends finding ways to relax to curb stress-induced sugar cravings. One method is taking “stress-balancing supplements that contain ingredients like rhodiola, ashwagandha or B vitamins and GABA, which can help counteract stress hormones and support better serotonin production without having to resort to sweets,” he told us. Beyond supplements, there are lots of other ways to manage stress, from building more time for hobbies into your schedule or bullet journaling to spending time outdoors or starting a meditation practice (here's what you need to know about mindfulness meditation).
You might be thinking: Is sugar really that bad for me? The short answer is—and we truly loathe having to say this—yes. According to researchers at the University of Michigan, sugar can be addictive in a similar way to drugs and alcohol. You might even experience symptoms of withdrawal when you try to cut back.