People crave a lot of things, sex, money, and food. Today let’s talk about food. We all have unusual cravings from time to time. I have been experiencing some especially strong food cravings over the past few months, causing me to snack on a lot of unhealthy food, which is contributing to weight gain. I know what you are thinking, and no, these are not hormonal. I am in no way pregnant.
There are two types of food cravings selective and nonselective.
Nonselective hunger is the desire to eat anything.
Today, my craving is selective. During the holidays, I spent time in Chicago-the Windy City known for its pizza, widely referred to simply as Chicago Style Deep-Dish Pizza due to its authentic cooking style. This was not my first visit to the great city, but it was the first time I had Lou Malnati’s pizza.
I live in Kansas City, Missouri. I can easily pick up the phone and call Pizza Hut or Dominoes, but they just won’t do, and it’s not like I’m going to jump in the car and drive to Chicago for pizza. I am craving Lou Malnati’s pizza morning, noon, and night, which has left me trying to figure out what can cause these cravings and what I can do to curtail them because there are no road trips anytime soon.
Here are four things that contribute to unwanted food cravings and how to manage them.
Stress- Stress promotes emotional eating and craving for comfort foods, leading to weight gain, and if you have been on planet earth for the past two years, cooped up in the house has already increased your weight. Reducing stress and emotional eating can help with food cravings.
Water – Hunger and thirst can confuse the feeling of thirst for hunger. Food cravings reduce when you stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking water provides many health benefits since the body is 60% water or something like that. Water is essential for your kidney and other bodily functions. When dehydrated, skin becomes more vulnerable to skin ailments and wrinkling. Be sure to stay hydrated; this will help reduce your food cravings. Drinking water can help with intense nonselective cravings.
Sleep – Not getting enough sleep can alter the body’s hormonal balance. This contributes to overeating and weight gain. Having an adequate sleep schedule can cause weight loss, and an increase in the amount of sleep brings hormones back into balance.
Chewing gum – Gum can reduce both sweet and salty cravings by keeping your mouth busy.
Instead of changing the scenery and returning to Chicago the next time you have a selective or nonselective craving, check your levels, stress, water, sleep. Grab a piece of gum.
Maintaining self-care and a regular eating pattern can help to avoid hunger-induced cravings.