Stop eating CRAP. Yes, CRAP. C-hemically altered, R-efined, A-rtificial, and P-rocessed food.
We all know that we should try to stay away from eating CRAP, however, sometimes our food cravings get the best of us. Here are some reasons why you might be addicted to certain foods and some practical ways of how you can break your unhealthy food cravings based on evidence-based research.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to download the free 21-Habit Tracker PDF!
What are food cravings?
Cravings are intense, urgent or abnormal desires or longings. Not only are they very common, but they're also arguably one of the most intense feelings you can experience when it comes to food!
Here are some reasons why you might be experiencing food cravings:
Food cravings can be the body's subconscious way of filling a nutritional need. When the body lacks a specific nutrient, it naturally craves foods that are rich in that nutrient. For instance, chocolate cravings are often blamed on low magnesium levels, whereas cravings for meat or cheese are often seen as a sign of low iron or calcium levels.
Solution: Make sure that you are eating a whole foods diet and taking supplements.
INSUFFICIENT PROTEIN OR FIBER
Protein and fiber help you feel full. Eating too little of either may increase hunger and cravings. Fiber also helps with detoxification, and can help with candida— a major cause of sugar cravings. Protein can also help to balance out blood sugar levels.
Solution: Ensure that you are eating enough protein and fiber EVERY day!
REGULARLY CONSUMING CERTAIN FOODS
Simply craving salty or sweet foods may not necessarily mean that you're sodium or sugar deficient. Regularly consuming high-sodium foods, for example, can lead you to develop a preference for salty foods. This can create salt cravings in cases where extra sodium intake is unnecessary and even harmful to your health.
Solution: Consume more healthy fats. Your body can burns sugar or fat for energy. If you stop consuming a lot of sugar, and start consuming more fat, your body will become a fat burner, which can also help with weight loss and reduce your sugar craving. Some great sources of healthy fats include coconut oil, or avocados.
REMOVE THE LABEL
Viewing certain foods as "forbidden" or actively trying to suppress your desire to eat them often intensifies cravings for them.
Solution: While you may be trying to avoid a certain food, try to slowly eliminate it out of your diet. You can also choose to eliminate it completely, and only have it on occasion, such as one a week in moderation.
In some cases, the brain associates eating food with a certain context, such as eating popcorn during a movie. Food cravings may be triggered by specific moods. One example is "comfort foods," which are often craved when wanting to get over a negative mood. This can create a craving for that specific food the next time the same context appears.
Solution: Choose a healthier alternative. Stressed individuals often report experiencing more cravings than non-stressed individuals, and sometimes opting for a healthier alternative when watching a Netflix movie might just be a better option for your health. Think of drinking water before buying soda, enjoying a delicious fruit and cheese platter instead of having popcorn, nachos, and melted cheese. Where there's a will to eat healthier, there is always a way to do it!
Comment below what you typically crave? Is it sweet or salty foods? Don't forget to grab your free PDF below!
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