6 Things that Cause Unhealthy Food Cravings, and How to Stop Them
Nov 29, 2016
Do you feel like overwhelming food cravings are stronger than you are? You know you shouldn’t eat that extra snack, but you just can’t resist. In this blog post, Elements of Rockville Centre discusses what may cause those longings for junk food, and how to stop them.
What Causes Junk Food Cravings?
It’s no surprise that when the human body is dehydrated, it wants water. And it doesn’t care where that water comes from. That’s why people often assume they’re hungry when they feel tired and weak. They think a sugary snack may bring back their energy.
Since dehydration often manifests itself as hunger, drink a bit of water to see if your food cravings are satisfied before you indulge.
2. Underlying Stress
Stress and other emotional issues can often cause desires for unhealthy snacks. In the short term, stress tends to decrease your appetite. However, the appetite cannot be suppressed forever. Eventually, your body realizes how hungry it is, which can lead you to stress eat.
Studies indicate that those who are stressed prefer foods that are high in fat and sugar. Elements of Rockville Centre recommends taking time daily to destress, as it’s good for more than just your appetite. It benefits the mind as well as the body.
3. Psychological Conditioning
Encyclopedia Britannica defines conditioning as “a behavioral process whereby a response becomes more frequent or more predictable in a given environment as a result of reinforcement.” For example, if you eat a package of cookies every time you sit down to watch TV, your brain associates TV with eating cookies.
Breaking a conditioned eating habit is a matter of figuring out what triggers your food cravings. Once you know what in your environment is making you want to eat, you can address it and combat it.
4. Nutritional Deficiency
An alarming proportion of Americans are deficient in several key nutrients. The brain often alerts the body of these deficits in the form of intense cravings.
In fact, longings for certain foods indicate shortages of specific nutrients. A well-balanced, vitamin-rich diet is the solution here.
5. Hormonal Imbalance
In both men and women, fluctuations in hormone levels could be the root of cravings. If you suspect this may be the reason you’re yearning for fattening foods, speak to a health professional.
6. Disproportionate Acidic/Alkaline Foods
Experts recommend that the human body maintains a balanced intake of 75 percent alkaline foods and 25 percent acidic foods. A large disparity in either direction could lead you to desire foods from the opposite side of the pH scale.
Luckily, there are guides that detail which foods are acidic and which are alkaline to help you maintain a reasonable balance.
As a rule, remember that food is fuel, not therapy. Breaking bad habits of unhealthy eating starts with you. Make a lifestyle change today and live your best, healthiest life!
Disclaimer: Elements of Rockville Centre is not an organization of healthcare professionals. All authoritative claims in this blog have been linked to their sources.