What is Food Craving?
It refers to an excessively strong desire of having food. This is different from normal hunger in the sense that a person experiences desire for specific types of food rather than any type of grub.
Today, many individuals around the world are increasingly failing to control their eating urge and worrying about how to overcome food cravings. People are usually found to have a craving for sweet or salty foods. Many individuals are also found to have an inclination towards protein foods such as cheese or meat.
What Do Food Cravings Mean?
Food Cravings usually indicate a problem in your physical or psychological state. There appears no single reason for craving for food items. However, the problem is mainly supposed to arise due to low level of the neurochemical known as Serotonin. This has a direct impact on the brain centers that control the production of endorphins and the appetite. Sweet foods and eatables rich in carbohydrates release short bursts of the neurotransmitter and enhance its level in the bloodstream. This helps elevate the mood of a person.
Weak digestion or hormonal imbalance can often lead to low serotonin levels in the human body. It may also occur due to following fad diets or sticking with a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Food cravings may also originate due to adrenal imbalance in the body. Fluctuations in levels of blood sugar as also psychological and emotional changes brought on by nutritional deficiencies or stress can also play a role in starting these desires.
In most people, these food cravings are not a result of eating disorders. Rather, they are signs of hormonal imbalance resulting from a lack of healthy nutrition. Read on to know how to curb food cravings.
How to Get Rid of Food Cravings?
Do you have a persistent desire for tasteful foods? Here are some assistive steps that will help you know how to resist food cravings.
Following a diet that is low in fat content but high in carbohydrates can make you partially or even completely resistant to insulin. Resistance to insulin makes the body stop responding to the hormone and deposit calories as fat. This leads to gradual weight gain and a simultaneous inability of cells to absorb the glucose. This makes the body require more sugars or carbohydrates. This results in constant food cravings. It is essential to stop dieting altogether or consult with a dietician who can suggest an alternate diet plan that will have the same benefits but without the ill-effects.
Change diet plan
Sticking to a particular diet plan can bring monotony and make you look for other food items that you are particularly fond of. It is best to consult a dietician and opt for other diet plans from time to time to break the monotony.
Dehydration is a strong factor that makes people experience hunger. If you feel your hunger is a result of dehydration, take a glass of water every hour to keep the body cool and hydrated.
Food cravings often arise due to idle, inactive lifestyle which makes an individual look at food as a means to kill boredom. Regular exercise can help you do away with this feeling, help in maintaining hormonal balance and provide you with a fresh, full feeling. This will reduce your desire to have foods. However, improper exercise can do just the opposite and increase your desire to eat.
Adrenal imbalance, as aforesaid, is another cause of food cravings. This typically happens due to problems like excessive stress, sleep deprivation or extreme exhaustion. Over time, the body requires more carbohydrates and sugar to counter the imbalance. This creates a natural leaning towards food items.
How to Resist Food Cravings?
Here are a few tips that will help you know how to avoid food cravings that originate from temptations and not necessarily physical demands.
Many people suffer from food cravings even in the absence of any bodily disorder. The cravings, in such cases, are a result of temptation and attraction for the specific types of foods. The cravings are not real in many cases. They are only a result of psychological factors. Have a fistful of nuts along with one-two glasses of water. This will curb your appetite and give you a sensation of fullness.
Divert your attention
Whenever you are overcome by a strong desire to eat, divert your attention and begin talking with a friend or a family member. Do not watch television as it can make you hanker more for a snack. Engage in some outdoor activities, go hanging out with friends or start exercising – basically anything that keeps your mind off foods.
How to Stop Junk Food Cravings?
Here are some ways which, if followed, can help you stop craving for junk foods.
Avoid purchasing them
Do not buy junk foods at all. Whenever you buy a pack of these oily, fried foods, you are leaving the door open for temptation. Even if you buy, purchase infrequently and in small quantities so that you can finish a pack in a single session.
Make a plan
It is better to let go of all restrictions from time to time. If you simply cannot do without junk foods, restrict them to only twice a week, such as on Thursdays and Sundays. This will help you battle the urge on the rest of the days while always giving you the feeling that the wait is almost close to an end.
How To Stop Food Cravings While Pregnant?
Food cravings may also arise during pregnancy. This usually happens due to problems like exhaustion, nutritional deficiencies and aversion to certain types of foods. Would-be-mothers usually pine for fruits and food items that are sweet, salty or spicy in nature.
Read on to know how to fight food cravings during pregnancy.
Drinking green tea
It is a natural tea prepared from unfermented leaves and is a powerful source of antioxidants. It is known to reduce craving for foods naturally.
Eating natural spices
The strong inclination towards spices can be countered by incorporating natural spices into the diet of pregnant women.
Drinking soy milk
Soy milk contains calcium that is vital for the health of would-be mothers as well as their kids. Extra calcium can also help reduce common cravings for dairy products like ice cream cravings.
How to Stop Food Cravings Naturally?
Some natural ways to reduce food cravings include
Have a nutritious diet
Incorporate eggs, lean meat, peanut butter and other foods that are rich in protein. Do not skip meals as it can disrupt the blood sugar level in your body, making you go hungry.
Have enough sleep
Not getting adequate sleep can increase stress and fatigue for you making you look for foods to get more energy. This can increase your cravings.
Take a break
Gorge on the items of your liking at certain times. This will satisfy your mental craving for them and reduce the desire.
Fighting food cravings is natural and not as serious as to be something worth losing your sleep over. This is an issue faced by all food-lovers. Then again, food craving can turn serious if not controlled in time. It is essential to strike a sound balance between strict control and occasional yielding to temptations of the grub. Follow it up with a nutritious diet and a little bit of regular exercise and you will not find it difficult to maintain a healthy body.