Have you ever attacked and eaten the entire cookie jar in 5 minutes?
Let's be honest - it's happened to everyone!
A food craving is an intense or uncontrollable desire for a specific food, stronger than normal hunger. The person who is experiencing the craving cannot feel satisfied until eating that particular food.
What Causes Food Cravings?
Skipping meals or longer periods without eating.
Stress and emotional problems, especially when we are sad or anxious.
Hormonal imbalances, particularly serotonin and leptin.
Hormonal changes, such as the ones that happen during pregnancy.
Nutrient deficiencies that occur when our body craves certain foods because it lacks specific nutrients.
Body Or Mind?
Despite some specific medical reasons most of the time we have food cravings because we are stressed, anxious, sad or frustrated. This video explains the difference between hunger and cravings in our bodies.
Harmful Effects Of Food Cravings
Constant food cravings can negatively impact your physical and mental health through:
Excessive weight gain and obesity.
Low self-esteem and self-confidence.
Low energy and sleepiness.
Health disorders such as heart disease and diabetes.
Impairment of memory and other mental functions.
How Can You Combat Food Cravings?
There are some ways to reduce unwanted food cravings. These include:
Reducing stress levels
Drinking more water
Getting enough sleep
Eating more protein
Avoiding longer periods of hunger
Which of the options below is not a way to reduce food cravings?
Choosing Healthy Alternatives
Even when you experience food cravings, you can make a healthy and delicious choice.
Fresh fruits can reduce sugar craving.
Greek Yogurt has lots of protein and is incredibly filling!
Trail mix is a great choice if you want to eat something sweet and salty.
Hummus with vegetables is excellent to increase your daily vegetable intake.
Dark chocolate is delicious and healthier than regular milk chocolate.
Next time you are experiencing cravings, think about what you are feeling. Is it hunger? Or are you only anxious? If you can’t resist and need to eat something, pick some healthy options and try out some other tips to overcome food temptations.
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