Discover what is behind your senseless and uncontrollable desire for certain sugary or salty foods and learn the science that puts you back in control.
Have you ever experienced a sudden and strong urge to eat one of your favorite dessert or chocolate or simply the salty and crunchy French fries? And your will power just does not seem to work anymore. These uncontrollable desires are called cravings.
These are not similar to hunger. This is when we get touchy towards a certain food item. Hunger is about our survival but cravings are not associated with hunger.
Here are some of the reasons behind these cravings and some methods to control them.
When you are under stress your body releases hormone cortisol, which signals your brain to seek rewards. Sugary and fatty foods blunt the effect of this hormone. So if you eat cakes and breads, the will have a calming effect.
The solution to this is to stimulate happiness. You can do anything which makes you feel happy and calm like talking to a friend or you may just consider to wait because contrary to popular belief cravings fade out with time. You may also consider listening to music as it also has a calming effect.
Leptin is the hormone responsible for managing hunger in our body. It signals the brain that our stomach is full or empty. But if for some reason our leptin levels are always high then our brain will feel that we are always hungry. SO we eat more and gain more fat.
Make to get 8 hours of good quality sleep each day. Lack of sleep causes hormonal imbalances. It not only causes imbalance in leptin but also in glucose and insulin levels. Cut sugar and oil/ghee. Perform weight lifting and high intensity cardio.
If you are craving some of the food items then your body may be trying to signal you about certain deficiencies of your body. Like if you are craving for chocolate then there is magnesium deficiency in your body. You can compensate this by adding raw cocoa to your diet.
- If you have Essential Fatty Acids deficiency, you will crave for cheese: Restore with Omega 3’s (EPA and DHA)– Flax oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts
- If you have Chromium deficiency, you will crave for Pasta, white bread, pastries:Restore with onion, romaine lettuce, tomato, cinnamon, grapes, apples, sweet potato
- If you have Nitrogen deficiency, you will crave for Bread and toast:Restore with foods containing proteins
- Popcorn (Stress hormone fluctuations): Restore with meditation, breathing exercises, exercise, leafy greens, vitamin B and C
- If you have Chloride deficiency, you will crave for Crisps:Celery, olives, tomato, kelp, Himalayan sea salt
- If you have Chloride deficiency, you will crave for Salty Foods:Restore with celery, olives, tomato
- If you have Magnesium deficiency, you will crave for Chocolates:Restore with raw cacao powder, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, greens, fruit
- If you have Calcium deficiency, you will crave for Soda, fizzy drinks:Restore with milk, sesame seeds, broccoli, kale, legumes, mustard
- If you have low blood sugar, you will crave for sweets:Restore with fruit, high fibre foods (beans, legumes), complex carbs (grains), chromium (cinnamon)
It may only be a habit. You may not realize it but simple habits like eating popcorn while watching movies can cause both of these to associate. So whenever you will watch a movie your brain will crave for popcorn.
Picture yourself healthy. Whenever you crave a food stop and think about getting fit. With time your mind will leave the habit.