Food Cravings: know their nature to tackle them better!!

One of the plus points of being plus size is that we can eat freely!! Really, we hardly ever feel the urge to hold back while eating mouthwatering grubs, once we have accepted that we prefer being “plus size” than skinny! We do give in to our food cravings readily…but when are they good… and what your food craving implies…you need to find out!! After all, we believe in healthy lifestyles, not unhealthy practices!!  🙂

So, what is a food craving?

As the experts at Wikipedia tell us,

A food craving is an intense desire to consume a specific food, stronger than simply normal hunger. According to Marcia Levin Pelchat "It may be the way in which foods are consumed (e.g. alternating access and restriction) rather than their sensory properties that leads to an addictive eating pattern."

So this gives us 2 important facts: cravings refer to a stronger urge for food, irrespective of physical hunger and they can border on food addiction, not to mention compulsive overeating…

Another important fact:

Food cravings are universal, but there are different impulses behind food cravings and you can differentiate between them with the following distinctive characteristics:

  • Physical craving
  • You know you are physiologically hungry.     
  • Your craving refuses to go away even if you wait it out.     
  • Worse still, the craving gets intense over time.     
  • Only the food you crave can satisfy the craving!!

food cravings

  • Emotional craving

  •      You know you are NOT physiologically hungry.
  •      The craving DOES NOT go away even if you spend hours waiting it out.
  •      While the craving does not get intense over time, the EMOTION does.
  •      Distracting yourself sufficiently can satisfy the real craving as it disappears.

FOOD craving profiles: figure out which profile you belong to with simple findings…

Cravings vis-a-vis hormonal imbalance:

Menstrual cycle has definite links to your mood swings as well as your cravings. Hormonal fluctuations depend on a proper nutrition, and lack of adequate “fuel” like fiber, proteins, carbs and valuable micro nutrition can give rise to certain food cravings.

Cravings and weight loss:

Grinding exercise schedules and intense diet sessions can give rise to undercurrents of malnutrition when followed overzealously. Too intense weight loss mechanisms can lead to intense food cravings as you try and continue to control your urge for carbs and sweets…

Cravings and adrenaline:

Adrenaline imbalance is a potential factor behind cravings…especially if you are under stress and near exhaustion. You start craving caffeine to shake off your exhaustion, and you crave sweets and salty food…

Moving on, what are the implications when your body craves for?

Let’s see…

Salty food: when you crave some salty chips or fries, it is not the snacks, but the salt that you are wanting. Electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, pregnancy or just mineral deficiency is making you crave salt. As much as 75% of Americans are prone to chronic dehydration due to lack of adequate fluids.

Chocolate: when you crave chocolate it is because you are suffering from magnesium deficiency. This is the 4th most abundant mineral in the human body, responsible for regulating the proper functioning of all the organs. It regulates blood pressure, immunity and all other minerals. Cocoa beans happen to be the ultimate store house of magnesium, hence your chocolate cravings.

Sweet: when you are desperately looking for something sugary sweet, you have your blood sugar levels to blame. Our morning breakfast usually consists of refined carbs: white bread, cereals and the like… so you are all charged up for the day. But post lunch your sugar high comes down and your blood sugar levels crash, making you pine for something sweet!

Sweet and salty foods: you need both salt and sweet because your body is running low on energy boosting carbs and sodium.

Soda: your body is craving some calcium…hence you crave some fizzy cola. Calcium not only develops bones, it also regulates blood pressure, enzyme secretion and function. If your calcium levels are low, your body might sponge off some from your bones…so beware.

Ice: iron deficiency and anemia lead to ice cravings. Your hemoglobin levels depend vastly on iron content in the bloodstream as it regulates O2 and CO2 levels in the blood.

So, how can you tackle food cravings?

  • Supplement with small snacks to reduce calorie intake: a cookie instead of a batch!
  • Make low calorie choices.
  • Don’t resist need for food, it makes controlling your cravings worse.
  • Maintain a journal to keep track of calorie intake and cravings.

Now that you know the manifold implications of cravings for certain food, may be you will figure out how to deal with them easily.  🙂

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