A food craving is an intense desire for a specific food. The food craving is your body’s way of telling you something. Read on to find what your craving is telling you about your health and what you can do about it.
Individuals usually crave for sweet, salty or high fat foods in response to certain emotion, nutrient deficiency, blood sugar or hormonal imbalance.
Find out which factor is contributing your cravings
Are you starving yourself?
The human body functions a bit like a car – you put fuel in the tank, and then you drive. If the body doesn’t get the fuel it needs, then strong physical cravings can manifest.
a) If you are skipping meals or going too long without eating, your body will crave the fastest fuel it can think of — refined grains and simple sugars.
b) An all-or-nothing mentality— forbidding all foods with sugar or salt —can backfire too.
c) Dietary restraint that is common among people on weight loss journey who are following fad diets, develop certain mineral or vitamin deficiency that play an important role in carbohydrate & fat metabolism.
Particularly the deficiency of magnesium & zinc that are used in the regulation of glucose, insulin, and the neurotransmitter dopamine; can manifest in the form of intense sugar cravings.
Are you listening to your body?
Understand what your body is trying to tell you.
a) Research shows that when you’re overtired, you’re more likely to crave energy dense foods. This is because your energy level dips, and you begin seeking out the next energy source.
b) When you’re stressed, it’s natural to look for high-sugar, high-energy foods, also called comfort foods as these foods provides relief by stimulating the release of happy hormones.
Salt cravings may occur when you’re stressed out, as stress sometimes impairs the kidneys ability to regulate sodium and leads to salt cravings.
a) Some research suggests that mistaking dehydration for hunger may trigger cravings as well. Hunger and thirst can produce very similar sensations in the mind, causing it to become confused.
b) Pre-menstrual sugar carvings are common among women. An imbalance in hormones coupled with magnesium deficiency causes abnormal variation in blood sugar & is responsible for sugar cravings.
c) Lack of Sleep has been shown to increase preference of high-calorie, high-sugar foods. During our sleep we recharge our body & when we are sleep deprived, our body tries to compensate for the required energy in the form of food cravings.
d) If you are diabetic & are craving sweets, check your blood sugar first and if it’s less than 70, take 15 grams of carbohydrate to bring it up. On the other hand, if it’s over 200, consult your doctor and start exercising.
Are you addicted to sugar & salt?
Your sugar addiction tells you that you’re lacking key nutrients in your diet. Meaning you’re consuming processed foods that are loaded with salt & sugar and you are over-indulging without realizing.
Spices such as coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamom will naturally sweeten foods without the need for added sweeteners, working wonders to reduce cravings.
Are you emotionally disturbed?
If you are sad or feeling lonely, these emotions can lead to crave something your body doesn’t actually want or need. You reach out for sweets as sugar releases ‘feel good’ brain chemicals – Dopamine & serotonin, which makes you happy.
Are you influenced with Environmental Cues?
The environment is constantly providing cues about what to eat. If you see an advertisement or at the sight & the smell of a food, you might be more likely to crave it.
When it comes to any craving, explore its roots with a non-judgmental curiosity.
No matter what you crave, addressing these factors may help reduce how often you experience them.
Stay hydrated, consume nutritionally balanced unprocessed meals at regular timings to stabilize the sugar.
Listen, respect & act according to your body signal’s, manage stress & your emotions productively, master your mindset & you can master your cravings.
To curb your cravings in most natural & effective way, start listening to your body & sign up for our nutritionally balanced meals now.