First of all, you need to understand what food craving actually is. It is an intense craving for a specific food, regardless of ‘not’ being hungry. Though food craving can occur due to many reasons, such as diet plans and restricted eating, the medical reason behind it is a complex combination of emotional, hormonal and biochemical factors. One of the probable causes for food craving to occur is an imbalance in the blood sugar level. Many a times, food craving is also related with depression, a kind of mental disorder, which affects the life of a person significantly.
In depression, a person resorts to ‘comfort eating’, which results in excessive weight gain. The reason behind this is supposed to be the ‘relief’ received from the consumption of carbohydrates, which stimulates serotonin production and eases out the state of depression. Thus, eating comfort foods is an attempt to self-medicate depression. This results in craving of sugary foods and chocolate, which raise the serotonin level in the body considerably. However, one should understand that such a practice, though it provides momentary relief, leads to other health-related problems.
In order to get a hold on your bingeing, make sure you do not overindulge in fatty snacks. On the contrary, have three to four meals a day at regular intervals, which will keep your blood sugar level steady, thereby preventing food cravings. In case you are reducing your calorie intake, make sure you replace it by nutrient dense food, rather than futile products such as candy, ice cream, regular sodas and alcohol. Avoid too sugary or salted food items as well as drinks such as coffee and soft drinks, which make the craving worse.
- Almost all of us pass through the denial stage, wherein we refuse to accept the truth. So, the first word of advice would be to come out of the denial stage and be honest and true to your own self. In case overeating has become a part of your life, know for sure that you are having an eating disorder and require help.
- Certain medications that are used for treating depression stimulate appetite or blood sugar problems, thereby causing the craving for sweet. Consult with your doctor and discuss whether the medicines are the reason for your increased diet.
- When a person is depressed and disheartened, certain emotional situations trigger food craving, resulting in overeating. If such is the case with you, beware of the emotional trigger and warn yourself against eating ‘comfort food’.
- Whenever you feel like bingeing on food, just distract your mind towards something interesting and gripping. Chances are you might be able to resist the craving.
- Did you know that by indulging in regular excise, you can enhance your mood as well as stop the craving? Exercise stimulates the feel-better chemicals in your body, improving your mood and reducing overeating.
- Whenever you feel hungry, drink a glass of water. Sometimes, dehydration is misinterpreted as hunger. Also, water would help you be fit and fade away the beasts of depression.
- When you are hungry, have your meals instead of gorging up on sweets. Once you have a plate full of meal, chances are that you might not even want dessert.
- Do not feel disheartened if you fail in the first go. Remember, there are still chances ahead for you to make up for the loss.
- Also, do not deprive yourself complete of sweets. Instead, go for alternatives. Have sugar-free chocolate pudding instead of a chocolate pastry. Remember, a ‘little’ serving of food cannot be harmful.