Most of us find ourselves craving unhealthy foods periodically. This could happen at work, at home, or even while browsing at the grocery store. These cravings are not as random as you may think.
Your brain is constantly pursuing a pleasurable feeling of euphoria. We can get this feeling from a wide variety of things we enjoy, but for many people, sugary or fatty foods can influence a feeling of euphoria.
The more sugar and fat we eat, the more our bodies want us to eat.
You or someone you know may struggle with “stress eating.” Studies have shown that some individuals deal with their emotions and negative feelings by eating foods they enjoy (often in excess).
Hormones and previous behavior play a role in causing these urges to take place.
Lack of Sleep
Just like stress, sleep deprivation has been studied in its connection to your cravings. With sleep deprivation comes an overall increase in hunger, but most importantly a decrease in a crucial hormone. Leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone, decreases as a result of sleep deprivation, causing you to be capable of eating more.
How Can I Stop My Cravings?
If you have not been getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, start by solving your sleep deprivation and see if that makes a difference. Being tired can cause many issues for your health – reaching far beyond just your diet.
Consider your water intake as well. Do you feel you stay well hydrated? Sometimes our body confuses hunger for thirst. Drinking water before eating can help ensure you have an appropriate appetite, which in turn can promote an overall reason for weight loss.
Lastly, recognize these cravings most often occur when you are home. What foods you decide to buy and bring home make a big difference in what you will eat at home. If you do not buy it or have it available at home, you will be that much less likely to eat it.