Isn’t it amazing how we can be chilling and watching the latest match when suddenly we get hit with an intense craving for some delicious, spicy suya? Or it could even be that big slice of that yummy chocolate cake mama used to make.
But have you ever thought about what causes these cravings, and how do we cope with them without sabotaging our fitness goals? Stick around, and we will dive into the world of cravings and how to handle them like a boss!
First things first: what causes food cravings?
Many experts believe that it could be due to a combination of physical, psychological, and environmental factors. Some of these may include:
When your body lacks essential nutrients, it can create intense cravings to re-establish balance. Did you know that a strong craving for chocolate could be a sign that your body needs more magnesium?
Changes in hormone levels can lead to shifts in appetite and cravings. Research has shown, for example, that cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods are higher during the high-hormone phase of the menstrual cycle and can also be influenced by stress-related hormones like cortisol.
Sometimes, we crave certain foods simply because we associate them with good memories or specific emotions. Grandma’s pepper soup might remind you of love and care, thus craving it when you’re feeling a bit low.
So how do we overcome giving in to our cravings?
Start by focusing on a balanced diet:
Eating a well-rounded diet filled with whole, nutrient-dense foods is the key to keeping cravings at bay. Ensure you eat enough protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs to keep your blood sugar levels stable, preventing those sugar crashes that lead to cravings.
Dehydration can often mask itself as hunger or cravings. If you find yourself craving a snack, drink a glass of water, and wait a few minutes to see if the craving subsides.
Exercise has been shown to help reduce cravings, especially for sugary and high-fat foods. The next time you’re hit with a craving, try going for a walk or doing some other form of physical activity.
Rather than deny yourself a treat now and then, allow yourself to enjoy it mindfully. Savour the taste, texture, and aroma without guilt but also make sure to keep the portions reasonable.
So there you have it; understanding food cravings is the first step in combating them effectively.
From addressing nutrient imbalances to practising more mindful eating habits, there’s a lot we can do to tackle these pesky cravings. Now, who’s ready for some suya? Just remember, moderation is key!