Cravings – top tips series

Definition: “A food craving is an intense desire to consume a specific food, stronger than simple normal hunger”. There is no single explanation for food cravings and can range from the following types:

EMOTIONAL CRAVINGS:

 Foods that are high in fats, carbohydrates and glucose, (chocolate, sweets) affect the brain centers for appetite to produce endorphins and interactions with the opioid system in the brain triggering an addictive effect to occur. The consumer of the glucose feels the urge to consume more glucose, much like an alcoholic; because the brain has become conditioned to release “happy hormones” every time glucose is present. This essentially means that the brain physically changes when it becomes used to consuming a mass quantity of a certain chemical so that the brain can release the highest quantity of “happy hormones” as possible. (Emotional eaters…it is your brain telling you it wants happy hormones). A craving is your body’s way of telling you you’re lacking something. However, craving an enormous ice cream sundae with extra chocolate sauce doesn’t mean you should eat it! Over the next few posts I will breakdown what the following cravings could mean for you: sweets/candy, bread, fatty snacks, coffee, carbonated drinks, salty foods and cigarettes.

 

LACKING NUTRIENTS:

 When we consume foods that are not providing nutrients & fuel for the body, it leaves the body feeling “unsatisfied” creating a craving for the “fuel” that is still needed, even after eating sometimes a large amount of “food”. What these statements say to us is that craving for food is a “true physical response from your body” and it is and can affect how you eat.

 LACK OF ENERGY (e.g. sleep/rest)

When your hormones are out of balance you crave certain foods. e.g. – if you don’t sleep properly, you disrupt your cortisol, leptin and insulin which cause you to crave foods. If you snack when you are not hungry you disrupt leptin which is your satiety hormone, so you feel hungry all the time

We hope this will help people that are not happy with their health and/or body image. You need to stop “beating yourself up” thinking that you are just “weak” when it comes to food! It is a true physical response you are having. This does not release you from the responsibility to do something about your health but can allow you to give yourself a break and start taking steps to making healthier choices with food for life when you start to understand this science.

You have now been empowered to start taking steps in changing the physical response you might be having.
Every day that you make good food choices that will fuel your body, you are making the choice to change! You will “re-train” your brain to “crave healthy foods”, the more healthy choices you make, your body starts to realise that it “feels great” when you do!

Your body will want more of those happy hormones, it will know where its new source is and you will enjoy a life full of energy, health and vitality!

HAVE AN AMAZING DAY EVERYONE! BE STRONG!

Next up, how to replace, beat your sugar cravings and find sustainable solutions…