The Best Way To Combat Food Cravings
Updated: 6 days ago
There are many strategies that can be implemented to suppress cravings but understanding why we get cravings in the first place will improve your self-awareness and help you gain ownership when these cravings arise. Having these cravings in of itself are not bad, but when trying to stick to a regimented nutrition plan with the purpose of improving your body composition, they can get in the way. This article will cover common strategies to help you manage your cravings when they arise, resulting in better adherence to your nutrition plan.
Why Do We Get Cravings?
A common theory is that you crave certain foods because your body registers that you need their nutrients. When you are hungry, that may sound like a solid theory to support your need to eat that food, but is there any truth to this?
Sodium deficiency indeed tends to increase our cravings for salty food because salt
contains a lot of sodium. Although, sodium is an exceptionally tightly controlled micronutrient in the human body and still salt cravings are not necessarily because you have a sodium deficiency. A good example of this is that men experience more cravings for salty food than women, yet they don’t have higher rates of sodium deficiency. Sodium deficiency is exceptionally rare, much more rare than excessive sodium intake in this day of age. If you experience a craving for chips, its quite unlikely that it's because your body knows it will thrive on its salt content.
The whole idea of your body getting hungry for a specific food because it craves its nutritional value falls on its face when you look at other trace mineral deficiencies and their effect on your appetitie. For instance, zinc deficiency often causes a loss of appetite, not an increase.
The take home here is that no, our cravings are generally not caused by some inner sense in our body that knows we nutritionally need these foods. It is far more likely that it's nothing more than a rationalization to justify to ourselves why we should consume those tasty foods. Put simply, we just crave tasty foods. You like certain foods more than others and you want to eat what you like. There is nothing wrong with this but the problem arises when you are trying to adhere to a specific nutrition protocol and these higher calorie foods are making it hard to do so.