A food craving is an intense, uncontrollable desire for a specific food, which leaves you feeling unsatisfied until you get what you are craving for.
Lets try and understand food cravings better:
1. Physical craving: This results from a tiny drop in your blood sugar, in response to longer gaps between meals
2. Emotional craving: Stress, anxiety, frustration, and loneliness are all emotional states that trigger cravings as a form of compensation
3. Sensory craving: These are triggered by our senses, i.e. the smell and sight of certain foods
Some facts about cravings:
1. Cravings don’t usually last beyond 5 minutes
2. They can be linked to pregnancy, hormonal imbalances, and menopause, and can be more prevalent in women
3. Too many failed crash diets, and prolonged food deprivation can be responsible for cravings
4. Learn to resist a craving, and you will find it easier to deny it again
5. Substituting your craving with a happy thought or activity. So, tend to your favourite plant, or just breathe in some fresh air
How can we make it work for us?
1. Brush your teeth for an instant recovery from cravings
2. Find a substitute e.g., if you crave a sweet – eat dates, or have a sorbet instead of an ice cream
3. Salt cravings can be satisfied by adding a light sprinkling of rock salt on fruits or salads
4. Stay Hydrated: Often thirst could be misinterpreted for a craving
5. Exercise and meditate regularly
Still need to trick yourself into making it easier? Just remember the 5 Ds:
1. Delay: Postpone the urge to satisfy your cravings
2. Distract: Engage in a fun activity till the craving disappears
3. Distance: Avoid urge provoking situations, be it your favorite restaurant, advertisements, or your favorite gourmet store
4. Decide: If the craving overrides the first 3 Ds, then decide to give in to your craving – BUT, only with the 5th D
5. Determine: Since you are determined to go ahead, eat mindfully and do not worry about sabotaging your health goals
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