Are you sticking to your diet and still getting cravings? Of course, this can delay your desired weight loss success. You can find out how to overcome these ravenous hunger phases and which foods suit this.
Sugar-sweet chocolate, gummy bears, ice cream, salty chips, hearty cheese – you can hardly stop your craving for sweet or savory? Your willpower is diminishing step by step, and your appetite seems to know no bounds.
But why is this violent binge eating now? You’ve been eating healthy and balanced all day – and now this!
Cravings—This Is How It Occurs
The intense desire for certain foods, especially unhealthy ones, can have many reasons. We usually interpret thirst as a feeling of hunger, and instead of reaching for water, we go for our snack drawer.
Especially when the snack comes in the form of a chocolate bar, it can have the following effects on blood sugar levels:
The carbohydrates from a chocolate bar are available super quickly, so the blood sugar level skyrockets, and insulin increases. This, in turn, causes the blood sugar level to drop sharply.
The result: renewed hypoglycemia and hunger – a vicious circle.
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Hormones Cause Cravings
In addition to the blood sugar regulator insulin, our feeling of hunger is also influenced by certain hormones responsible for our emotions, moods, stress reactions, and sleep, such as serotonin, noradrenaline, cortisol and other growth hormones.
Various studies show that if you lack sleep (less than 7 hours), your body releases more of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates your appetite.
When stressed, we react similarly: we rush from meeting to meeting, forget to eat, and suddenly, when we come to rest, hunger shows up with full force – cortisol is released.
Then nothing is safe from us – the urge for reward is too strong.
Another stress phenomenon: is frustration eating. You had a strenuous day and want to reward yourself with chocolate, chips, burgers, or pizza and put obstacles in the way of your sports or weight loss success.
Cravings Or A Nutrient Deficiency?
Sometimes, however, the sudden craving for something, in particular, hides a deficiency symptom.
Nutritional psychologists agree: Cravings are often due to a specific nutrient deficiency.
For example, a chocolate craving indicates a magnesium deficiency. Especially the magnesium from raw cocoa is relevant here.
Cravings for cheese are caused by a lack of calcium, salt, vitamin B12 and vitamin A
This article will show you how you can correctly interpret other deficiency symptoms and how you can then healthily satisfy your cravings.
Food Cravings – Morbid Or Normal?
When your cravings develop into an urge to eat and a state of distress where your hunger needs to be satisfied immediately and in a highly unhealthy form, that is an acute alarm sign.
A strong appetite is due to a mental or physical disorder.
Physical disorders can include a thyroid disorder or a metabolic disease in the form of diabetes mellitus. People with diabetes quickly fall into hypoglycemia, which becomes apparent through ravenous hunger. The blood sugar level drops from one second to the next in a hazardous way.
Pathological food cravings often characterize eating disorders and mental illnesses such as depression. Migraine patients also complain about cravings, which usually come as a harbinger of severe headaches.
Cravings: When A Doctor Makes Sense
If you have these signs, it is better to talk to your doctor:
- Daily food cravings
- Severely overweight (obesity, BMI > 30)
- Targeted vomiting after the food cravings (suspicion of an eating disorder)
- Constant feeling of hunger, high food intake, but weight loss (suspected hyperthyroidism)
- Persistent feelings of stress and nervousness
- Depression and depressive behavior
- Cravings before severe headaches and blurred vision appear
- Constant cravings plus the occurrence of intestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and stomach pain
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Different Types Of Cravings
Carbohydrates And Sweets
The most common food cravings are sweets, cakes, and cookies. In this situation, our body is hypoglycemic, and the blood sugar level is in the basement. It is possible that you lacked carbohydrates for breakfast or lunch or that you have forbidden yourself a lot during the day.
Our brain needs, among other things, glucose (carbohydrates consist of glucose molecules) and the amino acid glutamine to function efficiently. As a result, if there is insufficient glucose or glutamine available, the brain craves sweets.
A lack of serotonin, the happiness hormone, can also trigger the sweet attack. Unfortunately, sugar only makes you happy for a short time.
However, anyone who treats themselves to a piece of chocolate every day after lunch does not suffer from ravenous hunger but has acquired an eating habit: “After eating, I treat myself to something small sweet” – a reward effect.
Cravings For Salty Foods
The constant appetite for salty things should not be dismissed lightly. Severe diseases of the adrenal glands, high blood pressure, diabetes or thyroid dysfunction, deficiency symptoms, stressful living conditions, or unfavorable diets could also be hidden here.
Some deficiencies in minerals and trace elements can be triggered by heavy sweating (e.g., during intensive sports), long breaks in eating, too many unhealthy snacks, physical and mental exertion, and acute lack of sleep.
A specific form of salty cravings is cheese cravings. Especially in stressful phases and when there is a lack of calcium, we increasingly feel the urge for cheese products.
Food Cravings In The Evening
Clear thing! During the day, you give yourself and your body too much. Your blood sugar level is too low; your body seems stressed and releases cortisol. The result is food cravings in the evening.
Perceive Signals From The Body
Food cravings are much more than just the whims of our bodies. This is the conviction of the nutrition expert Werner Winkler, who, in his book ” Ravenous hunger is healthy, ” advocates the theory “that our cravings signal certain deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.” If you interpret your body’s signals correctly, you could prevent severe deficiency symptoms in the long term.
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What You Can Do Against Cravings
We have tips and hacks for you on how to stop your cravings or not let them flare up in the first place:
- Meal Times For Your Meals: Eating regularly helps against an endless appetite. Integrate fixed meal breaks into your day and stick to the times. Once your body gets used to it, your feeling of hunger will regulate itself.
- Eating Breakfast Helps!: Sure Thing – breakfast is part of your regular meals. If you have an appetite in the morning, you should eat with a clear conscience. Make sure to skimp on your cereal to save calories. Otherwise, you will have more appetite later in the day – cravings send their regards!
- Water Works Wonders: we often confuse hunger with thirst. So your first measure against perceived need should always be a glass of water. This has no calories and protects against dehydration. Ideally, you always have water within reach; you will remember to drink quickly.
- Exercise Curbs Cravings: Sport burns calories, which is why we are hungry afterward. In the long run, however, your exercise can curb your appetite. Regular exercise normalizes your feeling of hunger.
- Power With Proteins: A protein-rich diet with chicken, beans, or quarks helps prevent blood sugar levels from increasing. You will have more energy throughout the day!
- Hunger Stopper Hot Drink: Replace your dessert with a cup of tea. Green tea or peppermint can curb your appetite. The hot drink pleasantly fills the stomach and automatically suppresses the craving for sweets.
- Honesty Wins: deal with your appetite and be honest with yourself. Are you looking to raid the fridge out of grief or stress? Know where your cravings are coming from. Then decide whether and what you want to eat. And since you eat regularly (point one!), that’s already answered by looking at the clock.
Avoid Cravings: Recipes And Snacks
We also get caught in the voracious hunger pangs from time to time. What experience has shown helps us and brings us back on the right track can be seen here:
- Almonds– a handful is enough to satisfy sweet cravings.
- Banana – especially when you feel like eating chocolate, is sometimes a sign of magnesium deficiency. Bananas help!
- Oatmeal, in combination with low-fat quark, flaxseed, and a handful of fresh fruit, is a natural miracle weapon.
- Vegetable sticks with hummus – fight your salty cravings.
- Scoop helped grapefruit. The bitter substances reduce insulin secretion and curb your appetite.
- Green tea or ginger tea will curb your appetite.
- water, water, water.
Also Read: Relationship Between Binge Eating And Emotional Hunger