Have you ever had a strong urge to eat a bar of chocolate or finish an entire pizza?
Fighting cravings is one of the hardest things to do. This is because your body’s natural balance is disturbed and this signals an impulsive response in you.
Many people are unaware of why they get cravings and make wrong assumptions about their bodies. Knowing what triggers your cravings can help you eliminate them
Let us take a look at some facts which you probably haven’t heard of before.
Food Cravings Have A Scientific Reason
When you crave certain foods, it is because of actual changes happening in your body.
Some of the common reasons include,
- Increased cortisol release and lower dopamine levels triggered by stress.
- Hormone imbalances or changes happen when the body is in a different state.
- Imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
- Lack of fluids in your body
- Insufficient sleep which disturbs your hormone levels
Stress Makes You Crave
You might have heard of the term “stress eating”.
When you are under stress, your body releases cortisol. It makes you crave foods high in salt or fats.
You naturally think you need something fatty or heavy to help you deal with the stress and this leads to intense cravings.
When this becomes a cycle, it can lead to conditions like hedonic overeating and obesity.
When Your Hormones Are Not Balanced, You Want More Food
Hormonal changes in your body are usually the main culprits of food cravings.
Women during their menstrual periods tend to have strong cravings due to the rise in levels of estrogen and progesterone.
When you eat too many processed and sugary foods your body produces more insulin. When the insulin level becomes high, your blood sugar becomes low. This makes your body crave food for energy.
Higher levels of ghrelin which is the ‘hunger hormone’ can make you crave a lot of food. You will tend to eat more than usual.
Ghrelin levels increase when you skip meals, feel a lack of energy or suffer from chronic conditions.
Poor Gut Health Means Poor Food Choices
The bacteria present in your gut can influence your cravings by sending signals to the brain.
They secrete proteins that work similarly to hunger hormones.
Certain practices like smoking, consuming too much alcohol, eating processed foods and not getting enough probiotics can harm your gut bacteria.
It can also affect the bacteria in your mouth, which will affect your oral health.
Apart from consuming foods rich in probiotics, you should also take dental probiotics tablets to maintain a healthy microbiome. You should give a try to Smile Brilliant’s probiotic supplements which are highly effective in balancing the oral microbiome.
Dehydration plays a major role in cravings, especially sugar cravings.
In cases of dehydration, the production of glycogen in your body increases. This leads to increased cravings for foods that are high in sugar content.
So sometimes when you crave food, you might be just thirsty instead of hungry.
Sleep Less, Crave More
You might be surprised to hear this.
Poor sleep can be the sneaky culprit of your cravings!
When you sleep less, the ghrelin and leptin levels in your body get affected. Ghrelin stimulates appetite while leptin works to suppress it.
If this balance is thrown off, your appetite either goes up the roof or fails to appear.
Sleep deprivation is also linked to higher cravings for junk foods that contain excess oil, salt, fat and sugar.
If you deal with cravings on a regular basis, it is important to take action to resolve them.
Look at your daily routine and see if you are doing anything to upset your hormone levels or trigger your appetite.
Don’t hesitate to get professional help if necessary.