Cravings are a doozy. They come about when you least expect them and can often times be OVERWHELMING. This is especially true for busy people and those constantly on the go. Why? Being busy and travel are often times hectic and stressful experiences, which elevate your cortisol levels and incite this phenomenon we call ‘stress eating’, which pushes you to find and scarf down whatever food you can possibly get your hands on….uncontrollably.
What actually is a craving?
Well…”A food craving (also called selective hunger) is an intense desire to consume a specific food, and is different from normal hunger. It may or may not be related to specific hunger, the drive to consume particular nutrients.” And according to Medicalnewstoday, “Food cravings are caused by the regions of the brain that are responsible for memory, pleasure, and reward. An imbalance of hormones, such as leptin and serotonin, can also cause food cravings. … Emotions may also be involved in producing a food craving, especially if a person eats for comfort.”
We all have experienced these. Most often, cravings cause you to eat foods high in SUGAR because our body knows that those foods are the quickest to trigger a positive feedback loop, and make us feel good. Cravings can be detrimental to our health goals. But never fear, there are ways to curb your cravings.
The #1 way to beat cravings is….
DRINK WATER! Yes. H2O. The human body is mostly water, and when you don’t drink enough, you become dehydrated. Just as hunger primes eating, being thirsty primes drinking. What is the area of the brain that causes thirst? The hypothalamus. And what about the area that controls hunger?…The hypothalamus again! Considering the two sensations originate from the same source, the body can often times confuse thirst for hunger, triggering you to eat.
Next time you get a craving, try drinking 1 full liter of water! This will keep your cravings in check, satisfy your thirst and hunger and calm the want for other non-healthy substances.
Incorporate this habit into your lifestyle for getting a handle on your cravings, and if you’re looking for a jump-start to a new, healthier life, combine this principle with these 3 tips to prep you for your journey!