A strong desire to eat something desperately has ever made you wonder why this has started. Many were wondering and there is much conjecture about it. Let me share some beliefs and solutions to the needs of those cravings.
Many people are convinced that if they crave a particular type of food, “should be” becomes “need it” for your body. While this may be true sometimes, it’s not like that. Sometimes cravings can indicate a specific deficiency and sometimes might not. In fact, sometimes the body’s response (cravings) may provide erroneous information. For example, a craving for salty foods (such as potato chips), one might think that indicates a need for sodium, when in fact it could be activated by a potassium deficiency (a similar mineral). In an extreme case, reacting aggressively could exacerbate the deficiency and in some cases could lead to a potentially fatal condition.
Supplemented with some else, instead of the other may be life threatening. Therefore, it is important to understand what it can mean for a particular type of craving for food; the information should be just one part of its strategy of action. The next time you take a food for which you feel a strong craving, ask yourself why you are eating. Many cravings, in fact, are due to psychological causes (such as stress and anxiety) and not really as a result of a nutritional deficiency.
Try to be aware of your emotional eating triggers, so that these triggers can be avoided, or at least diminish. If you know that stress makes you have more cravings and overeat, then try to find a way to relieve tension. Do you have cravings because you’re bored? Then find an activity to occupy your time. If you notice, that the desire for the craving is always linked to a specific activity (such as reading the newspaper or watching an ad on television), try changing your routine. Something as simple as reading a book can help. Try changing the activity altogether. Try something like exercising. Exercise stimulates the feel-good endorphins and improves your mood (probably that’s the reason why you eat chocolate). Try taking a warm bath, call your friends and family, or simply wait for 15 minutes to pass by.
Very often, you will find that the desire for craving has lost much of its strength by the time your waiting period is about to end. Some food cravings are actually thirsty. Because most of us go around dehydrated half the time, what we perceive as hunger is really thirst. You can try to drink a couple of glasses of water. Again, wait a few minutes until the desire craving pass.
If you are someone who wakes up at night to eat, it is very likely that your body will be asking the calories, which you failed to provide during the day to satisfy your body’s need. Here are some tips for lowering night cravings:
1. Stabilize Blood Sugar levels
Keep your blood sugar stable, as it can control your hunger and cravings. For this, you must eat regularly during the day. Four to five daily meals, including snacks. If you don’t have a stable sugar blood level, your body is going to scream for some cookies or chocolates, or even a cake (in short it wants more sugar).
2. Keep Healthy Snacks Near Bed
Accordingly, you avoid eating high-calorie late at night. For example, place a basket of fruit and eat a fruit every time those sweet cravings come. You can also have some dried fruits. Dried fruits and natural fruits can help you when you just need some sugar on your body. Also, it can help if you ate dinner a little later in the evening.
3. Food with Fibers
Foods high in fiber make you feel fuller for longer period of time without adding extra calories. When making your dinner, keep this in mind and include items that are high in fiber. Soluble fiber found in fruit is to maintain levels of blood sugar stable. The insoluble fiber or roughage, such as those found in grains and vegetables can take a long time to digest what makes you feel full longer. To ensure proper digestion with high fiber foods always drink plenty of water.
4. Eat Right
Eat large servings of vegetables and moderate portions of lean proteins, whole grains, beans / beans, fruits and nuts. Avoid eating foods which containing only carbohydrates. Instead, mix with a little protein and fat, but be careful with the amount. Discard any temptation creating items from your pantry like cookies, sugary bars, candies, etc. Replace them with healthier options. Take it easy: if you’re at home and you get food cravings, you will have no choice but to eat those healthier items from your pantry (since you would have to make a greater effort to go to the store and to buy those sugary treats).
5. Keep yourself busy
Keeping yourself occupied with something will keep you away from thinking of these foods (try to do some activity with your hands). If you are very “oral” and you need to keep your mouth busy, try sipping a hot herbal caffeine-free chamomile tea, you also can chew on a bubble gum. This can also have a reducing effect of stress that can make you go to bed earlier, thus reducing the chances of binging on.
6. Side track your mind
Most cravings dissipate after 15 minutes. So as soon as you feel that you are craving a treat, think about something else – call a friend and talk to her/him for couple of minutes, organize your closet, listen to music, etc. Take at least 10 or 15 minutes off, before reaching for that food item. By the time you are done with that side activity you might even lose the craving for that sugary treat!
It’s very likely that extreme diets that require you to skip meals prove counterproductive, as they could provoke hunger. When trying to lose weight, focus on eating healthier foods and slightly smaller portions, so you will not have to wake up at midnight to eat. Replace those late night cravings with a healthy night snack. All these tips aren’t easy to follow if you are already in a habit of having a treat after dinner, but dedication some preparation and planning its not impossible!