Understand and Manage Your Food Cravings
Some people crave sweets and chocolate whilst others crisps or fried food… but one thing we all have in common is we have all experienced food cravings and sometimes they are almost impossible to resist! However, if we can understand the underlying causes of these craving and then implement effective strategies to manage them, you can help you curb the hunger pangs, thus maintaining a healthy and balanced diet!
The Science Behind Food Cravings
Food cravings are far more complex than just the strength of an individuals willpower. They involve complex biological, phycological and environmental factors!
Stress, anxiety, sadness and even if some cases boredom can trigger food cravings. Many people turn to comfort foods to cope with emotional stress, seeking the temporary relief they provide.
Sight, smell and even social situations can influence food cravings. Science has proved that even seeing an advert on the tv or smelling something that’s just been cooked can trigger an intense desire for those foods. Social gatherings and peer pressure can also play a role.
Hormones and Chemistry
Hormones such as ghrelin (signals hunger) and leptin (signals fullness) can play a big role in food cravings. Dopamine levels can also have an impact on a persons cravings. Certain kinds of food especially those high in sugar can trigger a release of dopamine, which in time will lead to cravings.
Managing Food Cravings
When a craving hits, try and distract yourself by engaging in an activity that you enjoy such as reading, going for a walk or engaging in one of your favourite hobbies. Often cravings will pass if you can focus your mind somewhere else
If you have goals, share them. Share your goals with your family and friends. This way they can hold you accountable and provide the encouragement you might need when cravings come around.
Plan Healthy Snacks
If you often find yourself craving snacks, have healthy options readily available. These can include fruits, vegetables or nuts. This way you can satisfy your cravings with healthier choices.
Balanced Diet and Water Intake
Ensure your regular meals are balanced and provide all the essential nutrients. This can reduce the likelihood of nutrient related cravings. Alongside this ensure you are staying hydrated, sometimes this can be mistaken for hunger. Drinking a glass of water when you are experiencing a craving may help curb it.
Food cravings are a natural part of being human, but they don’t have to stop you from your healthy eating goals. By understanding the science behind the cravings and implementing strategies you can manage them better and make a more balanced food choice. Everything however is okay in moderation!
However, if we can understand the underlying causes of these craving and then implement effective strategies to manage them, you can help you curb them, thus maintaining a healthy and balanced diet!
d the underlying causes of these craving and then implement effective strategies to manage them, you can help you curb them, thus maintaining a healthy and balanced diet!