Various biological factors are responsible for food cravings. Those who constantly feel hungry claim that their body needs extra food. Sometimes, it is true that your body gives out signals to warn you, that it needs more vitamins and minerals to maintain the energy. But most of the time, food cravings indicate that you are affected by an eating disorder.
- Adrenal fatigue, excessive stress
- Mineral deficiency
- Chromium, carbon, sulfur, or phosphorus deficiency can lead to sugar cravings
- Sodium deficiency can result in food cravings for salty foods.
- Marijuana intoxication or quitting alcohol
- Vitamin deficiency
- Skipping breakfast or meals
- Eating nutrition-less food
- Excessive blood loss
- Food addiction, just can't avoid the temptation of eating
- Depression, mental disorders
- Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa
- Pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, low blood sugar
- Fasting, exercising
- A drop in serotonin (a neurotransmitter) levels (Chocolates trigger release of serotonin, and make you feel happy)
How to Stop Food Cravings
- If certain places or certain smells trigger food cravings, then try to avoid those places.
- Keep yourself busy in some activity, so that you won't get time to think about eating.
- If you are following any fad diet for quick weight loss, you are more likely to experience these cravings. So, always opt for healthy weight loss diets.
- Overcome junk food cravings with strong determination. Include more raw foods in your diet. (fruits, vegetables, nuts, dry fruits, seeds, etc.)
- Foods rich in protein and complex carbohydrates keep you satiated for a longer period of time. Therefore, including lean meat and lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet will help reduce your cravings.
- Eat more small meals at regular intervals, and avoid eating too much at a time.
- Note down all observations regarding food cravings. Find out the reason behind overeating. Try to eliminate the cause of binge eating, and change your habits slowly.
- During pregnancy, women should eat healthy foods. Everyone should follow a healthy and balanced diet to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Whenever you feel like eating something sweet, make sure that you eat a healthy low fat alternative such as fruits or fruit yogurt.
- Drink plenty of water (at least 8-10 glasses) throughout the day. This will help curb food cravings. Do not misinterpret thirst for hunger. Increase your liquid intake gradually. Enjoy unsweetened fruit juices, milk shakes, smoothies, soups, and various types of milk, and do not eat until you really feel hungry.
- You may follow a diet consisting of more natural appetite suppressants. Water, green tea, oatmeal, flaxseed, apple, and hoodia gordonii extract are some examples of food which help suppress appetite. These foods help in weight loss, and help maintain the normal blood sugar levels.
- Design your dinner properly to avoid food cravings at night. Make healthy protein-rich meals for dinner. Include proper amount of beef, chicken, turkey, or eggs for the protein. Also, use brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans, salads, and vegetables as a source of carbohydrates. You may use high quality fats and oils to prepare your dinner.
Certain medications may stimulate appetite. So, consult your doctor for routine medications. Also, if you eat when you are angry or sad, then you are a victim of emotional eating.