In today’s training blog, I am going to talk about How to stop food cravings and why do we get them.
Why do we have cravings
We experience cravings for several reasons:
- Lack of nutrients and water that our body really needs,
- We use food to numb our emotions.
Reason #1 Dieting
Dieting is probably the number #1 cause of cravings.
If you are dieting and restricting any food groups like carbs, sugar or fats then that is what you are going to crave.
We always want, desire and think about what we cannot have.
Despite the fact that 95% of diets fail, we continue following the latest trends hoping that this time, we will get the results we want.
But diets never work long term!
Once you stop restricting certain types of foods, after you have satisfied your temporary desires, you will no longer have cravings for them.
Reason #2 Habits
Another reason why we have cravings is our habits.
If we are in a habit of eating healthy and drinking lots of water, then that is what we are going to crave.
On the other hand, if we are in a habit of eating fast food and drink soft drinks, then that is what we are going to crave.
So if we want to stop craving food, which doesn’t satisfy us, we will need to change those habits.
We are going to have to make the effort to do the groceries and cook something nourishing and satisfying.
Also, we will need to eat more fruits and vegetables, stop eating what’s in the pantry or going through a drive-through.
Simply by recognizing these habits and making a conscious effort to change them, will help the brain to change our cravings.
Reason #3 Lack of nutrients and water
In order to reduce our cravings, we will need to increase nutrients in our diet and drink more water.
When we are dehydrated, we often confuse thirst signals with hunger.
This would not apply if you haven’t eaten all day or even just for several hours.
It is quite normal to get “cravings” or hunger cues 2-3 hours after finishing our meal.
What is not normal is to crave more food after we have just eaten a sufficient amount of food.
Or if we crave more sweets after having a satisfying treat.
So, when we know the craving is not hunger, reach out for a glass of water first to see, if that is all we needed.
Lack of nutrients
It is important to understand that our body will absorb almost 50% fewer nutrients when we are stressed.
Stress can be also increased by exercising more than an hour a day or exercising on an empty stomach.
I remember when I was binge eating and then doing endless hours of exercising…
I didn’t think I was stressed but my body felt so tense like I was in “survival” mode all the time.
Doing an insane amount of exercise to try to work off all the extra food that we have eaten, releases cortisol.
Cortisol reduces our ability to absorb the nutrients can cause us to gain more weight.
To increase the absorption of nutrients, it is a good practice to really slow down.
“Good” and “bad” bacteria
And so when our body is low on nutrients, the ratio of bad bacteria in our stomach increases.
The bad bacteria feed on saturated fats and sugars which in turn makes us crave more sugar and fat.
On the other hands, healthy food full of nutrients and minerals will feed the healthy “good” bacteria.
And this will make us crave more healthy foods.
The ratio of good and bad bacteria also affects our immune system and it is closely linked with several diseases.
And that is also why we often don’t feel satisfied after eating food that has no nutrients in it.
Empty calories cause more cravings because they don’t make us feel satisfied.
This doesn’t mean that unhealthy food is forbidden and that we should never eat it.
It just means that we should make better choices most of the time, and occasionally treat ourselves with less healthy options.
That is why it is important to be aware of this in order to help us make better food choices and really nourish our body.
Reason #4 Using food to suppress feelings
And the last reason we have intense cravings is when we use food to suppress our emotions.
To manage our emotions, we can start by simply being more present and curious about what are the feelings that arise.
Cravings and tiredness
The most common emotion that is linked with cravings and overeating is the feeling of tiredness.
When we are disconnected, we are often not able to recognize what are the emotions that we are feeling…
When we are tired this could be due to lack of sleep, lack of nutrients and also from being unfit.
However, we think that we need sugar and coffee to help us get through the day.
But the same as we get a quick high from choosing this option, we also get a quick low.
And a quick low will always give us cravings for more sugar and coffee.
Pleasure from eating
When we use food to regulate our emotions, it gives us momentarily pleasure.
But then we start feeling guilty about eating even though we were not hungry.
So, we could try replacing the pleasure from eating food with doing more fun activities.
We could do something fun with the kids or something by ourselves.
Whatever it is as long we increase the positive actions instead of using food to make us feel good.
Free Training Video
And if you need more help managing your cravings, you can click on the following link to access a Free training video.
Here I explain what other steps you can take to help you achieve balance and freedom from food for good.
You will also be able to schedule a free strategy call with me personally at the end of that video.
During this call, I will help you figure out where you are at and what is holding you back from achieving your goals.
And here is what you will learn in the training video:
Thank you so much for reading today’s blog, until next time.