Why do we experience cravings? It’s not usually because we need energy, but it’s actually because our body is calling for a dopamine boost. If you get a craving while you’re hungry it can be very difficult to resist!
From birth humans generally prefer the taste of sweet things, and when we eat sugar or carbs we trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. There’s not really a problem indulging in a sweet treat now and then, however if we don’t learn to control our cravings we could over-consume sugar, and this can lead to serious health issues.
So what can you do to control these cravings? Here are some ideas:
If you are hungry and you start craving something sugary, immediately eat a filling, healthy meal.
If you are still desperate for something sweet, you could eat some fruit, dark chocolate, yogurt or a smoothie to help satisfy that sweet tooth.
Take a hot shower
It might sound strange, but taking a hot shower or bath can help when a bad craving hits! The water needs to be hot enough that it’s almost uncomfortable, and after a few minutes the craving should start to disappear.
If you really can’t live without chocolate, try combining it with something nutritious. For example, you could try melting chocolate and dipping some fruit into it, which will satisfy your sweet tooth and your chocolate craving, filling you up quicker than if you only had chocolate, plus it will provide some nutritional value.
Chew some gum
Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce food cravings – so next time the craving hits, try grabbing some gum to see if it helps!
Go for a walk
Taking a brisk walk when you have a craving does two things – firstly, it takes you out of the house and away from the food, and secondly, exercising releases feel-good chemicals in your brain, which helps reduce the craving.