I read this really interesting article that explains what causes food cravings. My personal problem is that I LOVE to snack. Chips, pretzels, nuts, cereal, crackers…you name it. After a long day at work, right around 8 o’clock, all I want is to curl up and crunch on something. The funny thing is, during the day I don’t get the temptation to “munch.” So, here are some facts behind why we experience food cravings, who experiences them, what triggers cravings, and ways to fight them. The article went into a good bit of detail, but here’s my summary:
- Cravings are innate– Back in the day, we used to crave foods because we lacked nutrients. Our brains reward us with positive feelings after we fulfill these cravings. (like going to work on a bag of chips)
- Women crave more– Women have a tougher time ignoring their cravings than men do. In the old days, women had to eat more in order to feed a baby, so when we evolved these temptations were more powerful in women for survival reasons. Now, this tendency isn’t very helpful for the waste line.
- Our unrealistic diet plans backfire- Women tend to set a diet plan that is too strict, so when we can’t fight the urge to eat something, we think “Screw it,” and pig out. We do this because we don’t know when we’ll do it again….but “Screw it” can happen a few times too many.
- Processed foods increase cravings: Naturals foods don’t contain sugar, fat and protein together.(think about it…meat, veggies, fruit, milk…) Processed foods do. Your brain craves artificial foods that contain all of these more than food in its natural form.
- Whole foods are more work to eat: A doughnut and a banana have the same amount of sugar, but can you plow through a box of bananas like you do doughnuts? Nope.
- Triggers: Take note of everything you eat and when. Try to avoid triggers and come up with alternatives to keep yourself occupied.
- Schedule: If you stick to a schedule, with no exceptions, you can’t mindlessly munch while watching TV. (MY PROBLEM!)
- Wait a second…or a few more: When you feel a craving coming on, wait 10 minutes before you give in.
Here is the link to the article if you want to read the entire article!