Everyone is familiar with cravings. Whether it affects you right when you walk through the door after work, on its own in the middle of a task, or only in the evening on the couch, it is not only inconvenient but also a serious motivating drain.
But what are cravings exactly? What source does it have? And most importantly, how do we curb our appetites? Because it frequently causes last-minute changes to the summer body project.
What are Cravings?
In principle, we distinguish between hunger and appetite. Craving is a physical desire for food, our stomachs are growling and our reserves are depleted. A real signal from our body that it’s time for something good to eat.
Appetite, on the other hand, is more of a psychologically induced condition than caused by the real needs of the body. For example, if we walk past the baker, smell and see freshly baked goods, then our mouths water – and it can also be a small part, even though we have only just eaten.
Cravings are a very sudden, very strong feeling of hunger – in a way, a combination of hunger and appetite that we can hardly withstand, which is why we also speak of cravings. This is where the detective work begins because food cravings can have a variety of causes.
Why Are You Hungry?
But how does craving come about? The reasons for cravings can be varied because cravings arise due to various factors.
However, you can influence this yourself and thus stop the food cravings, but ideally prevent them from happening in the first place. If you experience severe cravings frequently and for a long time, then you should talk to your doctor about it.
If diseases are ruled out, then the following reasons can come into question:
Too Little Energy
Your body needs the energy to function and it gets that energy from food. Similar to a car that needs gas to run. Long breaks in eating and the resulting calorie deficit quickly lead to cravings. Because your body still has to maintain all vital functions.
To do this, it needs energy, i.e. fuel, and it tries to signal this lack to you. This is also the reason why when you are hungry, you often feel like eating very high-calorie, high-sugar foods, because the body needs quick energy and these foods can provide it.
Therefore, make sure to eat every 4-5 hours and consume enough calories. This is how you supply your body with the energy it needs.
Too Few Nutrients
Sweets, white flour products, and ready meals are very high in energy but low in nutrients. Your body also needs vitamins and minerals to function properly.
However, these are not sufficiently available in the foods mentioned. That is why your body wants to draw your attention to the fact that it is missing these substances with cravings.
However, you can prevent this by eating foods that are as natural as possible and have a wide variety.
Strong Blood Sugar Fluctuations
Several things can send your blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride. Constant snacking, sweet drinks and the wrong composition of the main meals are part of it.
Because shortly after you eat these things, your insulin level rises sharply and then falls again relatively quickly, which then leads to hunger again.
However, you can counteract this by eating foods that keep your blood sugar level constant. The best way to do this is to combine complex carbohydrates with proteins and healthy fats. This way you stay full longer and your body doesn’t immediately have the desire for something to eat again.
Regulated meal times can also help you to keep your blood sugar level at a constant level.
Whether physical or mental, every activity consumes additional energy and nutrients. If he doesn’t get these after a hard day or workout, cravings arise as the body wants to be supplied with energy quickly.
Therefore, make sure that you provide your body with nutritious food, especially during heavy exertion through intensive sport, but also during strenuous and long working days.
Lack of Sleep
Our sleep is essential for our recovery, but also for our feeling of hunger and satiety. When sleep deprivation occurs, we are proven to be more hungry the next day, which also promotes food cravings.
That’s why it’s very important to get enough sleep to give your body the rest it needs. It should therefore be seven hours of sleep a night.
Stress, phases of growth, competitive sports, strong emotions, and pregnancy mean a special burden for our bodies. These pressures and especially stress can also lead to food cravings. That is why it is important during particularly stressful periods to pay attention to a particularly varied, balanced, and nutritious diet.
Which Foods Help Against Cravings?
Some foods can help against food cravings due to their nutrient composition. You can therefore try to include them more in your diet to feel full for longer and prevent cravings from arising in the first place.
Eggs contain a lot of proteins that have to be broken down by the body first. This means that it keeps us full for longer. They are also low in carbohydrates and therefore have little effect on blood sugar levels.
You can also include eggs in your diet in a variety of ways, which is why they are very good for counteracting cravings.
Apples score with lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and relatively low fructose content. Especially in combination with some yogurt or a few nuts, apples help you to stabilize your blood sugar and prevent major fluctuations. When these fluctuations are avoided, cravings are reduced.
Apples also have many other positive effects, because they also stimulate digestion, for example.
Ginger helps your body produce more of the satiety hormone leptin. This can help against hunger and stimulates metabolism.
Thus, ginger is a silver bullet against food cravings. It can also be integrated into the diet with ginger teas, curries, or other Asian dishes.
Sounds strange at first, but tomatoes are also one of the foods that are good for curbing cravings. Tomatoes contain the mineral chromium. This substance causes blood sugar to remain stable and you stay full longer, similar to apples.
4 Tips Against Cravings that Help Directly
There are a few tricks that can help you get rid of cravings once they’re there. However, we still recommend that you eat in a way that prevents cravings in the first place, but more on that later. But first our emergency tips:
1. Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth can help you avoid feeling hungry. YourYoutYoutouringr brain by signaling that the meal is now over. This helps against hunger pangs. And another bonus: Toothpaste often tastes like mint and everything you eat immediately afterward doesn’t taste that good anymore.
2. Drink Mint Tea
The same effect occurs here as with toothpaste: the mint taste stays in the mouth and you can satisfy the feeling of hunger without eating anything. Peppermint tea also has many other benefits: it calms the stomach and regulates digestion.
In addition, the tea makes you drink liquid, which can also have a positive effect on your cravings. Because sometimes the body confuses hunger and thirst. The tea will quench your thirst.
3. Eat High in Fiber and Protein
When the body has cravings, it also helps to indulge rather than avoid hunger pangs. But make sure that you don’t eat anything without thinking, but use healthy alternatives.
Above all, you should make sure that you eat foods with lots of fiber and protein, as these will keep you full for longer and thus help against your cravings. You can also prevent further food cravings with such foods.
4. Distract and Forget
If nothing else helps, just distract yourself! It’s no use worrying about how hungry you are and what you could eat all the time.
Try to distract yourself from your hunger pangs and get your brain thinking about other things. Things you can do to distract yourself from cravings would be: to go for a walk, clean up, and meet up with friends.
But what we want is that there are no cravings in the first place. You can easily influence this with a few tips:
Eat a Balanced Diet
The best remedy for cravings is a balanced diet. This means that the macronutrients, i.e. carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are all sufficiently represented so that no deficiencies occur. You should also eat regularly and have a healthy snack with you on the go so that you don’t slip into hypoglycemia.
Protein bars or nuts are good alternatives to chocolate bars. These fill you up and help against cravings.
If you want to learn more about how to balance your diet, you can read our blog post about it. Because that is the biggest building block to avoiding food cravings.
Eat Whole Grains
Whole grain products contain complex and long-chain carbohydrates. The body takes longer to break them down, so these carbohydrates keep us full for longer. Therefore, try to regularly include whole grain products in your diet.
The body needs enough water to function properly. Sometimes the body mistakes thirst for hunger. That’s why you should make sure that you always drink enough so that you also notice when it is a feeling of hunger that occurs.
Treat Yourself to Something Sweet
Eating something sweet now and then can also help curb cravings. But caution is advised: it should remain something special and not become a habit, otherwise, the cravings will increase again.
Cravings can arise for a variety of reasons, but there are good tricks to help. The most important thing is a balanced diet with regular meals and enough rest. That way, cravings don’t arise in the first place.
However, if it’s already there, it helps to eat something healthy that fills you up in the long term or distracts you.