A food craving is a desire to eat a specific food and is not same as normal hunger. Observations showed mostly things which people crave are chocolate confectioneries. The craving of non-food items is called pica.
Foods with high sugar content, like sweets, are more craved than other food items. After consuming sweet, consumer tends to consume more of it, much like an addict, because the brain releases “happy hormones” in the presence of glucose.
What Are The Causes of Food Craving?
Food craving is a result of an increase in appétit while eating. Appetit is increased when Leptin is produced in our fat tissues of our body. It’s the main task is to fuel your appetite and inform you when you don’t have to eat more. The problem occurs when a regular increase in leptin, fools your brain that you’re hungry and when you’re not.
Why Does This Happen?
One cause is the availability of excess of fat in the body. More fat content will make more secretion of leptin. Another reason is consumption of high sugar and processed carbohydrates. The sugar makes your fat cells to produce more leptin. Regular rises in the levels of leptin can lead to resistance to leptin, which starts a loop and further reduce your ability to check your real appetite. Consuming healthy food and balanced diet is the perfect way to keep the levels of leptin in control and, hence reducing chances of being swept away by cravings.
Here are few tips to prevent food cravings while eating:
1 – Consume Low-calorie Food: Low-calorie food such as vegetables, boiled or raw meat, egg, milk can be consumed as per your hunger. On the other hand, it keeps leptin and happy hormone in control and thus reducing the chances of food cravings.
2 – Avoid Fats and Oil-rich Food: According to research and studies, it is seen that oil-rich food and food with high calories are craved by more that 80% of people. After consuming fats and oil-rich food, our body releases happy hormone ad leptin which makes us eat more than the requirements. Once you start eating it, it will keep on increasing and it will never go to end until you work yourself.
3 – Keep Food Away: Doesn’t matter how much you love chocolates, if you stop keeping it near you, chances of food cravings will reduce drastically. To keep your food away, you can keep it at a high pace where it is difficult to reach.
4 – Do Exercise Regularly: Rather than consuming burgers and chips to feel cool and happy, you can go for a walk and can sleep before regular time. Making changes in some habits can help you to prevent craving. Additionally, the exercise will help you increase serotonin levels in your body, It will help you to leave sugar more easily. So try to work out daily and gaining sleep is the most important part which will help you to prevent craving.
5 – Prefer Protein Rich Diet: Instead of consuming fatty food and carbohydrates, prefer to consume protein rich foods because it will take more time to digest and it is good for health too.
6 – Don’t Eat Processed Food: Nowadays there are lots of processed food such as chips, bread, snacks, products such as bacon, ready to use meals. There are drinks too, such as milk and soft drinks.
7 – Identify What Triggers: For preventing food craving you need to identify what triggers it. Identifying the cause will solve the problem up to 60%. Stress eating is a real phenomenon and affects a lot of people around you.
“Food cravings arise to satisfy emotional needs, such as calming stress and reducing anxiety,”
-Drewnowski, a well-known taste and food preferences researcher.
To prevent stress you must do meditation, join social media and live a stress-free life.
8 – Keep Changing Variety of Food: Eating same food daily will help you to count calories but it but it will leave a feeling of dissatisfaction in you. Everyone needs the variety of food in their meals, so keep on trying new dishes to stop cravings. Only because you’re dieting doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy your mind.
9 – Avoid Snacks and Packed Food Items: Snacks and packed food items are delicious to eat and hence it makes your brain to release ‘happy hormone’ which makes your mood good. Hence, in other words, it is making you addict of it and this effect will go on increasing until you stop it forcefully. To stop it you have to reduce the consumption of snacks and packed food items to the fullest. After that, you have to eat the healthy food to prevent eating it again.