One of the biggest myths, when it comes to excuses for eating unhealthy, is that food cravings occur when a person lacks some nutrients.
You probably can relate to this, like for example when you see some delicious sweets, passing by a display window, and immediately feel the urge that you need to have this thing straight away. Some people believe that these cravings are a way for your body to notify you that there is a deficiency in a certain nutrient. For instance, when you are desperate to take an ice cream or something sweet, you might think that you have a lack of sugar or calcium.
Still, there is a recent study debunking this myth and explaining how such cravings are a result of social, psychosocial, cultural impulses, not nutritional ones. When you think about it, we always yearn for things filled with sugar, fat and salt, not for healthy choices, for example, broccoli.
A study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation concluded that people who received an infusion of fat acids, otherwise known as “comfort food”, while being exposed on depressing setting, for example dreary music, reported feeling less sad. In simpler words, your emotions can influence your brain to eat food that it considers “comforting”. Thus, you might think that you are better after eating a calorie‐filled chocolate.
Yet, by being aware that these cravings are not the right signal for your nutrient deficiency, you can learn to outsmart them. Remember that the craving is not “a need’’ but rather “a want’’. Also, here are some tips for fighting these unnecessary life elements:
Have a glass of water
The next time you want to eat some sugar‐filled candy, go and drink a glass of water instead. You will feel that the urge is decreasing.
Write things down
You can become more aware about things by simply writing them down. The unnecessary cravings might look more serious if you see them on paper.
Look for healthy alternatives for the things you crave for. For example, instead of potato chips, as a snack, take some almonds that are actually filled with nutrients.
Having this in mind, you can see that is is not that difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle when it comes to eating. You just have to remember that you are always the one in charge.
by Vladimir Jordanov