Food Cravings ?
Food craving is an intense desire for a specific food, and is different from normal hunger. Hunger and cravings are two different sensations. We all get food cravings and sometimes we give in to them. There are many reasons why we get these cravings like physiological, sugar rush, hormonal imbalance, lack of certain nutrients in our body, emotional and comfort eating, habit, dehydration etc. Food cravings are also caused by a combination of both physiological and situational factors. Different individuals are affected by different causes. Here are few things you can do to reduce food cravings:- 1. Wait it out and distract yourself - Believe it or not, sometimes the best way to deal with food cravings is to wait it out and distract yourself. Distract yourself in some work, call a friend, take a walk, workout, watch a movie or do something that you like to do. 2. Avoid temptation - You are much more likely to overeat if you have junk food, desserts, chocolate etc in the house. Remove these temptations by clearing your fridge and cupboards. If you pass your favorite junk food joint on the way to the gym or work, find another route to avoid that temptation. 3. Manage your emotions and reduce stress levels - When under stress or extremely sad, it can cause some of us to binge eat. Stress results in higher levels of cortisol(stress hormone), which might cause weight gain even without extra food cravings. Find alternate ways to handle stress like exercise, meditate etc. 4. Drink plenty of water - Hunger and thirst can produce very similar sensations in the mind. One of the easiest ways to reduce food cravings is to make sure the body is hydrated throughout the day. Dehydration can make you crash harder, thus making you more likely to consume sugary treats to keep your energy up. 5. Get enough sleep - Not getting enough sleep could alter the body's hormonal balance. If you're tired, you may want to keep eating in order to boost your energy. Get adequate sleep to avoid this. 6. Plan your diet - Your diet should compliment your lifestyle. Avoid extreme calorie deficit while trying to lose fat. Include plenty of lean sources of protein and fiber which gives you a feeling of fullness and keeps you satiated for a longer time. There is also a connection between cravings and nutrients. Sometimes, the body might crave for certain foods because it lacks certain nutrients. Ensure that your diet is a balanced and quantified diet which has all required nutrients. We usually crave for what we can't have so try including foods you like in your macros even if just in small quantity. Next time when you get cravings, you now know what to do. To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art. Let's be an artist :)