How to eliminate cravings to lose weight

Feeling uncontrollable pain over a certain food is something everyone has experienced. Be it at 3am for some ice cream or 7pm for some junk food, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Especially now, with social distancing and prolonged lockdown, cravings can only go unsatisfied, waiting to be satisfied in the coming days when it’s safe to say. Cravings come in all shapes and sizes, but unfortunately they’re all out of place. You may have just eaten a full meal, but you have an overwhelming craving for something sweet, “this is so weird” you start to wonder, but in reality it’s not that much. . Cravings are actually the body’s way of signaling that it is in need of a certain nutrient. However, before getting into the meaning of each desire, let’s first understand what these factors cause excessive desire.

Table of contents

  • 5 factors that cause cravings
  • Anatomy of 7 cravings and how to overcome them
  • In brief

5 factors that cause cravings

Several factors contribute to the sudden onset of cravings, and understanding them is the first step to controlling that unpredictable craving. Here are some of the main causes of cravings and some helpful tips for overcoming them.

1. Lack of sleep

Our body regenerates energy when we sleep and when we don’t get enough sleep, the hormonal balance in the body is changed. This imbalance causes your body to eat more to keep energy levels high, which in turn causes cravings. During this time, cravings are often for sweets, as their sugar content spikes blood sugar and provides an instant source of energy.

2. Vitamin deficiency

The fundamental reason to eat a variety of foods is because our bodies need essential nutrients to stay functioning. If you don’t provide your body with enough vitamins, protein, fiber, fat, magnesium and other nutrients, you will have cravings because your body wants what it lacks. So the best way to maintain your cravings is to make sure you’re eating a variety of foods that provide you with the right nutrients needed for your body’s normal functioning.

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3. The gut is not happy

Your gut is the center for the production of serotonin, a “feel-good” chemical. To maintain pleasant serotonin levels, your gut needs to function properly to be able to absorb nutrients from your food and pump out serotonin through your digestive tract. This process is highly dependent on healthy levels and the proper balance of good bacteria. But when your diet is unhealthy, bad bacteria can overpower the good guys, thereby lowering serotonin levels and creating cravings. Cultivating a healthy balance of good bacteria by eating fermented foods, taking probiotics, and adopting healthy gut habits is key to quenching your appetite.

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4. Dehydration

Thirst and hunger can bring similar feelings to your mind, leaving you confused. One of the best ways to keep cravings at a safe distance is to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking water regularly not only helps to remove toxins from the body but also ensures overall health.

5. Going through emotional hell

Sadness, depression, high stress levels are all emotional situations that prompt you to quickly search for some comfort food in the kitchen. Several studies have shown that high stress levels lead to cravings for sweets, which ultimately leads to weight gain and a larger waistline. However, because cravings are often short-lived, choosing to eat healthy or engage in certain activities can protect you from snacking or other unhealthy foods.

Anatomy of 7 cravings and how to overcome them

Cravings really come in 2 types – Selective and Non-selective.

Selective cravings are cravings for a particular food, which may be the person’s favorite foods such as chocolates, chips, ice cream, meat, or others. On the other hand, non-selective cravings are the desire to eat anything. However, this could be a result of actual hunger, but could also be a sign of thirst. But has it ever crossed your mind, what do these cravings mean and how are they caused? Here, we will discuss what each craving is telling us and how we can overcome it.

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1. Sweet

If you’re craving something sweet, that’s your body’s way of telling your blood sugar is low and it needs instant energy. The only problem is that if you satisfy this craving by aiming for a donut or a candy, chances are it can cause your sugar levels to spike, followed by a drop in sugar. , causing another sweet craving. So the best way to avoid this stickiness (especially when you are trying to watch your weight) is to drink some water first and then eat fruit along with some protein rich foods like milk. frozen, nuts or seeds.

2. Salty

Some people crave foods like chips, mixes or salty snacks because of its salty taste. Sometimes this can be due to boredom, however, cravings can also be related to low electrolyte levels, dehydration, adrenal fatigue and fatigue. Excessive sweating from overtraining can also lower sodium levels, leading to cravings. So the next time you have a craving for something salty, the first thing you should do is rehydrate your body, followed by adding foods like nuts and seeds to your diet. friend.

3. Oily/fatty foods

Cravings for greasy or fried foods are not uncommon. When you have such cravings, it could be a sign that you are deficient in essential fatty acids. So, if the craving for fried food persists, it’s best not to indulge but follow an alternative method that’s good for the body. Including good quality fats and oils like avocados, nuts, nut butters, flaxseeds, coconut oil and salmon are some of the best alternatives that one can add to his/her diet to fight back. these greasy cravings. Eliminating trans fats, MSG, margarine, fast foods, and processed foods will not only reduce your cravings, but will also keep you safe from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. other chronic diseases.

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4. Carbohydrates / Snacks

The thought of some delicious pasta, garlic bread, noodles, crackers, just keeps popping in your head?! Well, this craving is a sign for you to add more fiber to your diet for better blood sugar control. Cravings for carbohydrates or junk food is mainly due to signs such as hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, chromium deficiency, or fatigue. To control this craving, you may need to consume more magnesium-rich fruits and vegetables like bananas, apples, spinach, broccoli, and celery. Eating small frequent meals to curb cravings is also a good way.

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5. Sour food

Craving unripe mangoes, pickles, tamarinds or other sour foods is your body’s way of telling you there’s an imbalance in your gut. It is mainly caused by acidity/improper digestion, consuming a lot of high fat foods or you may be experiencing a lot of stress lately. To curb this craving, all you have to do is drink warm water with the juice of half a lemon or you can add citrus fruit or watermelon to your diet.

6. Chocolate

One of the most popular cravings of all time is chocolate. Chocolate cravings are a sign of magnesium deficiency. A deficiency in chromium, B vitamins, essential fatty acids, or even emotional problems or stress can also be the reason why you crave chocolate. Chocolate is a rich source of magnesium, with the highest form coming from 100% cocoa. Adding 70% dark chocolate, including plenty of whole grains rich in B vitamins, and getting enough sleep to reduce stress can all help curb chocolate cravings.

7. Spicy food

Craving spicy foods is your body’s way of signaling that you want to cool down. You may think this is weird, but spicy foods will make you sweat, which will help if your body gets too hot. Congestion or reduced immunity are also some other reasons why you might crave spicy food. How can you overcome the craving?! Well, you can cool off by drinking a glass of water first but in the long run you can start by including spicy foods and spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, garlic, turmeric and seeds pepper. However, we recommend staying away from hot sauces like sriracha or schezwan.

In brief

Who knew cravings could have so many meanings, right?! Well, it’s important to pay attention to these cravings, as that’s how the body sends us important messages. So the next time you feel like you can’t succumb to them, you should reconsider and snack on some of the healthier alternatives we’ve mentioned. Your body will definitely thank you.

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