Managing Food Cravings : Physiological and Psychological Cravings
"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself."
Diets and Food Cravings
Many people go on a diet at one time or another. Hundreds of suggestions are available by numerous sources, especially on websites.
So, we can hear about the keto diet, the water diet, the fruit juice diet, the salad diet, the detox diet, the eat everything in half quantity diet, the low carbs diet----and many more.
Is dieting a sure way to slim down?
It’s just the opposite, in my opinion. Dieting is a sure way to get fat.
Every time you are on a diet, and then break your diet plan, you condition your body to accumulate more weight.
What is Craving?
In reference to the above, we must also remember the simple fact, that it‘s depressing to feel deprived of the food, we love to eat.
People may suffer from a sense of deprivation, and have terrible, terrible cravings for the foods, they can no longer have. This may result in a general feeling of depression, guilt, and failure.
Food craving is likely to increase, in case one feels deprived.
Cravings can be divided into two different groups:
1. Physiological cravings,
2. Psychological cravings.
- The absence of a particular element in the body, may lead to a strong desire for certain foods.
—dairy produce, if there is lack of calcium;
—or salty foods, if the salt is lacking—
—or cravings for sweets, may be due to lack of sugar, and so on.
This is quite natural and is indeed a healthy sign.
- A less commonly acknowledged physiological craving may arise, oddly enough, after satisfying your hunger. Many people, may sometimes feel a craving, for a particular food, which is extremely spicy, or sweet, or has a strong individual taste.
- This is because, a person who habitually overindulges, may seek to again stimulate appetite, because the eating has made it dull.
Thus, your body may trick you, to crave for the food again.
- Food cravings after eating, usually happens when you are on a diet. The body being deprived, does not get enough calories, for its energy needs. The body wants to get the calories it wants, from eating, rather than have to go to the metabolic process of breaking down the energy, from the stored up fat, within the body.
- Another kind of physiological craving, is the desire for a certain kind of food, at a specific time of the day. Cravings for a particular kind of food, may be the brain signalling depletion, of an important element in the body.
So, it‘s not uncommon to have a morning craving or an evening craving.
- Another kind of craving arises after having alcohol, which stimulates blood insulin in the body. It can lead people, to low blood sugar levels, temporarily. Thus, it amounts to have a desire for the food, even if, they are not really hungry.
This biological imbalance, will reverse itself, on its own, within a short time.
- People who consciously monitor their food, typically overeat, when they have their drinks. Cravings held in check consciously, surface in these circumstances.
- The best option is to stay away from the food, and this can be planned in advance. Promise yourself to stay away from the buffet table, or ask someone else to bring your plate of food. These are useful techniques, to deal with the alcohol induced cravings.
- Another kind of psychological craving, comes from the feeling of deprivation. The longing for the foods, which you might have denied yourself, due to overweight.
- Complete cutting out foods you love, may lead to a breakdown of control, due to the intolerable cravings.
- It will be better to permit small amounts of the foods they love, to control this kind of craving. In this way, the weight can be managed, in a better way.
- Another type of psychological craving, emerges after eating something low in the calories. There is a psychological feeling of being deprived.
- Calorie for calorie, people usually do much better eating, a 'little' of something they enjoy, than 'more' of something they do not like.
Keeping a record:
Some people find it useful, to keep a record of their cravings and temptations.
In this process, they note down the time, the place, with whom they were, what they were doing or thinking or feeling, at that particular time, the cravings were felt.
Keeping this kind of record, for at least a week, can detect and identify patterns, what are those situations, that spark off cravings, temptations and the desire to overeat.
Stress triggers food cravings, especially sweet. When a person is worried or anxious, the hormones get activated, which have been discovered in the taste cells, that identify sweet, bitter, salty or spicy flavors.
This itself explains, why some people turn to chocolates, when they are stressed, or under pressure.
Do you have cravings? If at all for what kind of food?
Is there a solution?
Understanding the causes and symptoms, will not end the temptations and cravings.
But this is a useful first step.
- You can choose, not to expose yourself to stimulating foods.
- You can go to the restaurants less often.
- Decide not to bring chocolates, biscuits, sweets and other foods to your home, for which you have utmost cravings.
- Avoid going to the markets, when you are quite hungry.
- Do not imagine, that it is possible to avoid all the situations, and every food which tempts you.
- You cannot decide, never again to see food, or never to feel frustrated or depressed. This is where, thinking techniques become crucial tools for self direction.
Tips to control food cravings, source: You tube
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Chitrangada Sharan