How to Overcome and Conquer Food Cravings
Do you ever wonder why you crave certain foods?
Do you ever wish you could get rid of your food cravings?
Do you ever wonder if there are any healthy strategies to satisfy your food cravings?
If you answered YES to any of these questions then you need to read on because help is on the way!
You are in the right place if…
- You want to learn the secret to figuring out what your cravings are trying to tell you.
- You want to learn what causes food cravings in the first place.
- You want to learn the latest information to reduce and conquer food cravings for good.
- You want to learn what healthy foods and techniques can help satisfy food cravings.
Here’s what you will learn in this blog post:
- What the most common food cravings are.
- How food cravings can affect you – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- The causes of food cravings – physiological and psychological.
- How to reduce and conquer food cravings.
- Healthy foods, tips, and strategies for satisfying food cravings.
What is a food craving?
Well, food cravings are often mistaken for hunger when in fact, they have nothing to do with the physical need to eat. It’s interesting, our minds can play tricks on us. It makes us think we’re hungry, or that we have to have a certain food, or that our body needs this so desperately, when in fact, it has nothing to do with the physical need to eat. You need to simply dial in closer to what your body is really telling you. Also, food cravings can feel like an intense desire to consume a specific food, and it’s different than normal hunger. Studies show that women seem to be twice as likely to experience food cravings as men. And, for women that seems to be caused by hormones. Women seem to crave sweets more and men crave savory foods more.
What are the causes of food cravings and how do they affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally?
Food cravings often begin from a physical, mental, or emotional need. Food cravings are deceptive; they are not real hunger. For some people, emotional needs may cause food cravings. If they feel like something is missing in a relationship, or that relationship is consistently stressful, they want something to compensate for that.
One example of a physical effect of food cravings is a person’s inability to gain weight or lose weight and keep it off. They have a constant nagging in their minds that they want a certain food and they usually give in to the craving.
Sleep also has an effect on food cravings. Studies have shown that people who are sleep-deprived are more likely to experience food cravings than those who get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
Food cravings create a cycle of guilt and sadness. You may have good intentions not to give in to your food cravings, and then something happens and you give in to some craving. You then feel guilty and sadness, which makes you want to eat more. This can become a continuous cycle. You can start to break this cycle by becoming aware of the things that trigger the cravings and try and avoid them.
Cravings can occur when your brain associates food with a certain context. An example of this is you may crave popcorn when you go to a movie, or if you are trying to lose weight, you may crave the foods that you consider “forbidden”, such as pizza or ice cream. When this happens, your body will take action and you will usually eat the food you are craving at the moment.
What are the most common food cravings?
Common food cravings include potato chips, french fries, ice cream, chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, and macaroni and cheese. This is a limited list, but the truth of the matter is we crave fried foods, savory foods and sweet foods. They all can be addictive, and they definitely can mess with our hunger signals. Try to become aware of your trigger foods and what triggers your cravings for them.
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Food Cravings
We are all different and have different food cravings. There are, however, some strategies everyone can use to overcome and conquer these cravings.
First, and most importantly, don’t skip meals…especially if you are someone who lacks sleep, because your body needs the sustenance of a good quality meal. Not junk food – a good quality meal, so that you don’t get those cravings for salty and sweet foods.
Also, vitally important is that you drink lots of water. You should drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. Your body absolutely needs this much water to perform at an optimum level. Your body also needs protein every day to stay at its top performance level, as well as healthy fats at each meal such as avocado, coconut oil, nuts, etc. Skipping meals and not drinking enough water can lead to increased appetite and cravings.
Next, plan your meals 24 hours in advance, so you won’t have to make a spur of the moment decision as to what you will eat at each meal. You are going to be less tempted and less likely to experience if you are meal planning. If you have a plan, you’re not going to make bad decisions when those cravings hit.
Your body absolutely needs sufficient sleep, so be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Your body needs this for rebuilding and regeneration. If you do this, you will be amazed at how much better you will feel. Also, it is a great idea to engage in stress reducing activities, such as yoga and meditation.
One more thing…the smell and taste of peppermint has been clinically proven to kill hunger that isn’t rooted in the body’s need for fuel. Try brushing your teeth or smelling peppermint oil to see if your cravings go away. Another thing you can do is start a journal and track your cravings to learn what triggers them and when they are most likely occur.
These are all strategies that you can try. While I don’t recommend that you incorporate all of them at once, try them all and see which ones you like the most and will stick to.
Let’s recap what we have learned. First, a food craving is an intense desire to consume a specific food and is different from normal hunger. Food cravings can be caused by a number of things including stress, anxiety, lack of sleep and emotional needs. There are many strategies to help you overcome and conquer food cravings, including managing your water intake, consuming healthy, quality meals, and managing stress through practicing yoga and meditation. Check out these and other strategies above.
I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and I would love to hear your comments below.