There are millions of people who have to deal with cravings for food every day, some of them find it hard to stop their eating disorder due to the severity of the cravings and their fears of becoming physically dependent on the food they crave. Food cravings can be very manipulative and you have to be aware of this when you are fighting your weight loss battle.1
Food cravings can be caused by stress; it can be very difficult to change your emotional state of mind when you are stressed out because your emotions react to stress and not to hunger. You will find yourself craving foods that make you more happy and calm and your body will reward you for having a good emotional state.2 This means that if you are constantly emotional, then you will be dealing with food cravings because the brain will signal you to eat. Stress can cause you to have insomnia, anxiety, depression and various types of diseases that are related to your mood. If you are suffering from many of the above signs then you should definitely look into changing your emotional state of mind as it can greatly impact your health and eating habits.
What Craving a Specific Food Means
If you are someone who suffers from compulsive eating, you may often think of foods as “ravings.” This is because the more you eat the more “craved” they become. However, if you stop eating for a moment and analyze the situation, you will see that you are in an unnatural cycle. Craving a specific food means that your body is begging for it. Therefore, there can only be certain foods that will result in cravings, and you must learn to break this psychological loop.3
There are several studies that indicate why some people have trouble breaking this cycle. In one study, a group of teenage girls was put into a particular eating regimen and after two weeks they were able to successfully decrease their cravings for fatty, sugary, and processed foods by almost half. Another study done on lean adults showed that those who had trouble breaking their own psychological cravings for nutrient deficiencies showed similar improvements when placed into a nutrient-deficient diet.4
It is important for individuals suffering from compulsive eating to realize that it is not physically harmful. However, it may cause serious health problems if left untreated. In addition, the emotional ramifications can also be devastating. If you are suffering from cravings for highly processed foods, it may be helpful to change your diet in order to break the habit.
Craving Foods Due to a Sensory Cue
How can you deal with a sensory cue or an emotional trigger? Are you reacting to a sensory cue or an emotional trigger? You might think that you are not reacting to a sensory cue or an emotional trigger when you just have a craving come across your senses. When your craving comes across your senses, and you want to satisfy your addiction, what do you do?5
If you are reacting to a sensory cue, such as eating food, then instead of ignoring the food craving, you need to eat the food. Many people eat while they are sitting at the computer, drinking coffee, or while watching television. Instead of ignoring food cravings, which may lead to binge eating, you should eat when you’re ready and as much as you can. This will take more conscious attention and some willpower, but it will be worth it.6
If you are reacting to a physical craving, such as hunger, then you should eat when your body feels hungry and your mind allows you to. Some people have a hard time eating when they are bored or anxious, so instead of trying to eat when they are sad, bored, or in pain, you should eat when you’re happy and this may take some practice. Find a hobby that gives you enjoyment and replace any cravings for food with this form of relaxation. You’ll soon learn how to react to a sensory cue and learn how to control your food cravings.
Denying Yourself Certain Foods
Have you ever had a “meltdown” over having to deny yourself food? It’s happened to everyone at one time or another. The person feels so guilty about their reaction to food and that they are making bad decisions, that they end up denying themselves food in order to make it through the day. This is unhealthy for you, as well as anyone else who is dependent upon your eating habits.7
If you allow yourself food cravings, then you will never be able to have a healthy diet. You will eat to fill a void in your stomach, which will give you the wrong nutrition. Foods that are high in fat, sugar, and sodium are going to cause weight gain instead of helping you feel better. Denying yourself the food will make you feel worse and might get you into the habit of denying yourself food in order to avoid the pain of being hungry. You need to realize that food cravings are simply part of your normal process. When you learn to not focus on them and simply acknowledge them, they will subside.
Another suggestion for dealing with food cravings is to think about something else. Oftentimes, food cravings are triggered by boredom or stress. Find a hobby or activity that will occupy your mind and give you some mental stimulation. This may be as simple as a book or exercise. Make sure that you choose something that you enjoy and that will help you reduce the frequency of your food cravings.8
One last suggestion for dealing with food cravings is to change your perspective about food. One of the main reasons that people have food cravings is because they compare themselves to others. If you tell yourself that you can’t let yourself have this ice cream because you’re going to feel bad if you eat it, you’re going to get in the habit of denying yourself food. You should instead remind yourself that other people have the same desires for food and that you can have the same desire too.9
In conclusion, food cravings are a part of life. While they can lead to weight gain, you don’t have to allow yourself to suffer. Instead, use this opportunity to teach yourself new behaviors and habits. Remember that over time, you will be able to eat all the foods that you love without any problem. Also, remember that you can learn to overcome your food cravings permanently.
The Disadvantages of Ignoring Food Cravings
For many people who have overcome their food cravings, they will tell you that it was one of the hardest things to do that they had to do. There are many disadvantages to ignoring your cravings however, it may come back to haunt you if you don’t take action to treat them. These disadvantages include health issues, weight gain, depression, and confidence issues.10
One of the major disadvantages of ignoring food cravings is that it can sometimes have a long term effect on your health. If you ignore your cravings, eventually you will be susceptible to health problems. One example is binge eating. Binge eating is when you eat an excessive amount of food in a short period of time. This increases the risk of having a negative impact on your body and increases the risk of health problems.
Another disadvantage to ignoring your food cravings is that you will feel miserable.11 If you ignore your cravings for a long period of time, you will end up feeling unsatisfied. You will have lost the benefits of your healthy diet and you won’t feel like yourself anymore. This will increase your likelihood of experiencing stress, depression, and anxiety. These are all dangers of ignoring food cravings and if you continue to ignore them, they will affect you in the long run.
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1 “The Facts About Food Cravings – WebMD.” Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
2 “What Do Food Cravings Mean? Facts and Myths, Explained.” 30 Sep. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/craving-meanings Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
3 “What to Do If You Are Depressed: Identify Neurotic Loops.” 5 Jun. 2019, <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/theory-knowledge/201906/what-do-if-you-are-depressed-identify-neurotic-loops /a>Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
4 “Why Cravings Occur | Psychology Today.” 7 Jan. 2015, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201501/why-cravings-occur Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
5 “Sensory influences on food intake control: moving beyond palatability.” 11 Dec. 2015, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/obr.12340 Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
6 “Pavlovian Craving and Overeating: A Conditioned Incentive Model.” 16 Feb. 2013, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13679-013-0053-z Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
7 “Depriving yourself of the foods you love – Owensboro Health.” https://www.owensborohealth.org/services/community-wellness/nutrition-weight-management/eating-well-columns/food-deprivation-backfire/ Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
8 “What is the Balance Between Healthy Diet and Not Depriving Oneself?.” 10 Jul. 2020, https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/blog/balance-between-healthy-diet-not-depriving-oneself Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
9 “Why Depriving Yourself Is the Worst Thing You Can Do for Your Health.” 12 Apr. 2018, https://greatist.com/live/why-you-shouldnt-deprive-yourself Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
10 “Why Depriving Yourself Is the Worst Thing You Can Do for Your Health.” 12 Apr. 2018, https://greatist.com/live/why-you-shouldnt-deprive-yourself Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.
11 “Slideshow Food Cravings That Wreck Your Diet – WebMD.” https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/food-cravings-diet-wreckers Accessed 31 Aug. 2021.