Some thoughts about cravings.
I want that vanilla, mint chip ice cream.
I want another scoop. Mmmm, taste so good.
And i'll have that red velvet cupcake.
Just one more, please. NOW.
Chips - salt and vinegar. Gotta have them. Not sure why.
Maybe because it tastes so good. Mmmm.....
Food cravings, like emotional eating, sabotage our weight-loss and health goals.
I recently read an article where a researcher took foods advertised on TV commercials and created a 2,000 calorie meal plan for one day.
[Lauren Kizel recently wrote in bigthink.com, that a child sees an average of 20,000 30-second commercials in a year, and by the age of 65, a person sees about 2 million commercials.]
Back to this TV meal plan. In this TV food plan of 2,000 calories, the amount of fat (and not healthy fats) was 20 times the daily recommended intake and the amount of sugar was 25 times the recommended daily amount. That is approximately 30 days of recommended sugar in one day. I know this is a fantasy diet created by a researcher. But how much sugar and processed foods are we digesting each day?
After ingesting large quantities of highly processed, sugar-laced foods, your body/brain requires more and more to become satisfied. Your satiety hormones are thrown off balance.
They also produce cravings.
Cravings are very different than hunger.
Hunger for food occurs when you digest your meal, emptying the stomach over time and then being ready for the next meal. That usually takes approximately 4-6 hours. When we experience hunger, our stomach will start to rumble gradually. It goes away when we eat and leads to a feeling of satisfaction.
When we have a craving, it is usually for a particular food or taste – sweet or salty or a combination of both.
A craving is more like an urge in that it feels compulsive and urgent -- we must have it now.
Like other habits - nail biting or hair pulling - it feels like something is taking control of our brains and we must eat, bite or pull.
We don’t have cravings for a piece of chicken and broccoli! Is that true in your experience?
There are ways to deal with cravings.
1. Remove the processed food that is creating an addictive-like response from your diet. After approximately 2 weeks, cravings diminish.
2. Eat food that satisfies your physical hunger (protein, fat and fiber), and enough of it to keep you physically satisfied for at least 4-6 hours.
3. Look at your thoughts about desire. Do you know desire is a feeling that you create and can influence?
What foods do you crave?
What do you do to manage your cravings?
Did you know you can change your desire?