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What are You REALLY Craving?

April 02, 2014 2 min read

We all have those food cravings now and again--often more NOW than again. It's tough to say "No" to those cravings, particularly when they come in the middle of a particularly hungry moment.
Lifehack:Did you know that video games can help stop your hunger cravings? [1] Playing video games can fill your head with pictures of the game you're playing, knocking out those pictures you have of seeing yourself noshing on a savory burger or a pint of ice cream.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="610"] Source: http://www.thefoodnavigator.com[/caption] Cravings can be difficult to manage, but thankfully there are many things that can stop your food cravings, including:
  • Cinnamon[2]
  • Green apples
  • Bran
  • Green tea
  • Nuts [3]

What's Really Going On?

However, cravings can be surprisingly specific. You may find that your mind tells you it's craving one thing, when your body is actually craving something else. Your mind is a bit of a bastard when it comes to dealing with cravings, and it rules your body. Thankfully you can trick your brain by eating the right foods to sate your cravings. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="460"] Source: http://luxcoaching.wordpress.com/[/caption] Wow! I bet you never stopped to think about what your body could really be hungering for when your mind tells it "Feed me now!"

The Skinny on Food Cravings

Most of us don't really understand where food cravings--and all cravings, in truth--come from. Understanding how cravings work can help you to control them more easily. When you are hit by the sudden lust for a tasty treat, there are three parts of your brain working: your hippocampus, your caudate, and your insula. However, recent studies [4] suggest that the memory portions of the brain also play a large role in your cravings. After all, when you're craving a food, you're really wanting to feel the way you remember feeling when you last ate that food. It's why you give in to those cravings. Did you know that blocking the opiate receptors--the part of your brain that senses pleasure--can help you to reduce food cravings? It can stop you from lusting after high fat and high sugar foods.   Fighting stress will also reduce cravings. Carbs increase serotonin levels, which causes us to calm down. When we're stressed, we want that serotonin boost, and thus we carbo-load.  
Sources:
[1] http://time.com/14021/playing-tetris-will-make-you-forget-youre-hungry/
[2] http://www.healthambition.com/stopping-sugar-cravings-cinnamon/
[3] http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/crush-your-cravings-5-appetite-suppressing-foods
[4] http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-facts-about-food-cravings

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