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Why are unhealthy food addictive and how to stop their cravings?

Cravings come when our brain starts calling for a certain kind of food, and mostly the processed food, which is not really nutritious or healthy for our bodies, or even for our brains. 

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Our brain rewards itself when we consume anything that we crave for. 

Have you ever caught yourself in a situation where you want something sweet because you just ate something spicy, and then you end up eating more spicy because now your mouth is all so sweet? And this cycle goes on and on…until you force yourself and put a pause to it.

Craving for a particular kind of food is very common. As common as the cravings for alcohol or drugs. People usually do not crave fruits or raw vegetables. 

Food that is spicier, saucier, crispier, cheesier makes us go and grab it. Of course, choosing healthy alternatives instead of junk, sweets and fried food is not an easy task for everybody. 

But health-conscious people do choose their health over cravings. They have stronger willpower than those who cannot stop eating junk. Even health specialists to are fond of cheat days, the days they look forward to, so they can curb those unhealthy cravings.

So why do we fall for these cravings in the first place even when we know they aren’t any good for us. 

Cravings come when our brain starts calling for a certain kind of food, and mostly the processed food, which is not really nutritious or healthy for our bodies, or even for our brains. 

Most often, craving is the main reason why people find it hard to cut those extra calories and lose weight.

Here are a few tips that can help you stay away from unhealthy foods by limiting your cravings.

 Keep yourself hydrated

Sometimes when we are thirsty, we tend to get cravings. So next time when you find yourself in a situation, first try drinking at least a glass of water. Then wait for a few minutes. You may realize that you were just thirsty and not hungry. In addition to it, you may probably get other benefits of body hydration.

Plan your meals in advance, make a schedule and stick to it

Set fixed timing of your food intake for the rest of the week in advance, and stick to it. When you plan in advance, your brain is prepared for what is coming and when. So, there is no possibility of uncertainty or spontaneity.

Reduce stress

We tend to eat more and especially more junk when we are stressed. Stress eating is very common in today’s time. More the stress, the more the cravings as it gives our brains a sense of fulfillment. Anyway, stress isn’t good for your weight management strategy as it raises our cortisol hormone which is the major culprit in increasing fat around the belly. 

Minimize stress, meditate more, and take one thing at a time.

Eat more greens and proteins

Many scientific studies have performed and have given significant data around the fact that protein curbs cravings and excessive hunger. When we eat protein-rich food especially early in our days, we get less hungry and feel fewer cravings. Eating more raw fruits and vegetables throughout the day helps in reducing the urge for spicy, fried, or sweet items.

Get enough rest and sleep

It is scientifically proved that our appetite is largely affected by hormones that fluctuate throughout the day. People who sleep less usually fall for sudden cravings and spontaneous eating. Sleep-deprived people are more obese than people who take a good night’s sleep.

Eat chewing gums

Sometimes, when we are bored, or just want to have a sense of eating something, in this case, chewing gum may help. Next time try taking up chewing gum instead of falling for an unhealthy snack or food item.