A craving is a powerful desire that that can drive us to eat things that we possibly shouldn’t. Some of us find that our cravings are more healthy, but ultimately, they aren’t actually telling you what you need or what your body needs. In most cases, cravings tend to disrupt our diet plans.
Cravings for salads, carrots, fruits, and lean proteins are rare at best, and if you get them, yay for you. Usually, you face cravings for cake, cookies, fatty foods, comfort foods, and other junk food which triggers you to fight excess weight and sometimes even health problems. Yes, things like chocolate give us a little mood boost and make us feel good, but are they really worth it?
There are evolutionary bases for these cravings. We have hormones known as Ghrelin which can help us or hurt us when it comes to healthy dieting and maintaining a healthy weight. Ghrelin for example, when in the right doses in our bodies, can help us to stop at just one piece of cake. In 2013, a major study showed that ghrelin levels were associated with a typical rise and fall pattern with a relatively boring and healthy meal. However, these hormone levels spiked when eating a sugary or fatty food. This is even after the participants are full. Scientists call this
hedonic food consumption.
Satisfying cravings is different than a binge. Cravings can lead to binges, but they don’t have to. A binge is when you step over that level where you may very well feel out of control. Both cravings and binges can be emotionally based in nature. Emotional eating often flies under the name of stress eating. Emotional eating is not eating because you need food, but rather because you are trying to soothe yourself and address feelings of emptiness or other problems specifically with food.
Likewise, some people experience another major cause of cravings and related binges. Sometimes, we just get bored, and we fill our time with eating.
When it comes to diets, even the most disciplined dieters may hit a roadblock. When you are always denying yourself what you really like and sticking to rabbit food 24/7, you are more likely to break. On the other hand, there are those who fix this simple problem by simply taking a cheat day on a regular basis. I don’t mean pigging out all day on cheetos and cake. Generally, this is just on meal, still keeping things in moderation.
Finally, there are those who end up binging simply because they are hungry. Yes, this happens. We are actually hungry, and we make bad decisions on what to meet that hunger with. We can easily satisfy our hunger with healthier foods, but for whatever reason, we choose not to.
There are definitely things that you can do. In many cases, it’s a matter of reminding yourself why you’re eating healthier while also surrounding yourself with healthy food choices. Sometimes, when you only have healthy choices as opposed to that chocolate bar hiding in the cupboard, it’s a simple decision. You won’t go out of your way to find unhealthy foods that are not readily available.