Cravings. A word we all dread. We all get them at some point, cravings for sweet, salty and fatty snacks that, every now and again, threaten to derail our healthy eating habits. No matter how healthy or balanced your lifestyle and diet, almost all of us experience food cravings.
And they happen for all kinds of different reasons; maybe you need the emotional support food brings, or you’re overly hungry or your body is asking for nutrients which your brain translates as a craving. A bar of chocolate is rarely the answer, but your brain is telling you that it needs something, and that chocolate or crisp bag is just too handy.
If your diet is high in processed food or refined carbs, you could be more susceptible to food cravings, as the wide variety of nutrients that your body needs is lacking. These foods also cause intense blood sugar fluctuations, which have a substantial impact when it comes to your mood and energy levels. If your diet lacks vitamins and nutrients, you perhaps feel hungry, but your brain tells you to keep on eating. Simply put, that’s a craving.
Chocolate and Sweets: Instead of reaching for a bar of chocolate or a bag of sweets try eating raw nuts and seeds or leafy greens, which will provide the magnesium your body may be needing. Magnesium is nature’s sedating hormone and essential for easing stress and anxiety, relaxing muscles and building a good heart function. Before you eat, have a glass of water and wait ten minutes, you’ll find the craving subside and you’re more likely to make the healthier choice.
Crisps and Chips: When you feel under pressure your body produces a stress hormone called cortisol which makes you crave salty, stodgy foods. A healthy body requires a tiny amount of chloride each day, so switch to rock salt which is richer in minerals than refined table salt. Before you eat, take a walk around the block, an instant stress reliever, and then decide what’s on the menu.
Cheese and fried food: If you’re lacking essential fats in your body like omega-3 instead it’s very easy to reach for the cheese or chips. Any kind of natural fats will help tackle this craving. Fatty food can be a comfort food when we feel sad or stressed so, before you eat, take a walk around the block or phone a friend for a chat then try a handful of nuts or put more fish and avocados on the menu