Several factors contribute to the sudden onset of a craving and understanding them is the first step to control that unpredictable appetite. Here are some main causes of cravings and a few helpful tips for overcoming them.
1. Lack of sleep
Our bodies renew our energy when we sleep and when we don’t get sufficient sleep, the body’s hormonal balance is altered. This imbalance then drives your body to eat more to keep your energy levels high, thereby triggering cravings. During this time, the cravings are most often for sweet items, as the sugar content in them raises blood sugar and gives an instant surge of energy.
2. Vitamin deficiencies
The fundamental reason for eating a wide range of foods is because our body needs essential nutrients to keep functioning. If you are not giving your body enough vitamins, proteins, fiber, fat, magnesium, and other nutrients, you are bound to experience cravings because your body wants what it lacks. So, the best way to keep your cravings at arm’s length is by making sure you are having a variety of foods that provide you with the right nutrients required for the proper functioning of your body. .
3. Unhappy Gut
Your gut is the epicenter of serotonin production, which is a “feel-good” chemical. To maintain feel-good levels of serotonin, your gut needs to be in tip-top shape so it can absorb nutrients from your food and pump out serotonin through your gastrointestinal tract. This process is greatly dependent on healthy levels and the proper balance of good bacteria. But when your diet isn’t very healthy, the bad bacteria can overpower the good guys, thereby lowering levels of serotonin and creating food cravings. Cultivating a healthy balance of good bacteria by eating fermented foods, taking probiotics, and embracing gut-happy habits is key to calming your cravings.
Thirst and hunger can bring about similar sensations in the mind, causing you confusion. One of the best ways to keep cravings at a safe distance is by making sure the body is properly hydrated throughout the day. Drinking water regularly not only washes out toxins from the body, but also ensures overall well-being.
5. Going through emotional hell
Sadness, boredom, high-stress levels are all emotional situations that lead you to promptly cruise your kitchen pantry for some comfort foods. Several studies have shown that high-stress levels lead to cravings for sweets which eventually lead to weight gain and larger waist circumference. However, since food cravings are usually for short periods, choosing to eat healthily or indulging in some activity can safeguard you from going for junk or other unhealthy foods.