The Science Behind your Food Cravings, and How to Deal with Them
What foods do you crave? Chocolate ice cream, cheese fries, cookies….The list goes on. Let’s discuss the research behind your cravings and what you can do to quell them during the holidays when tasty treats are at every corner.
Science indicates that cravings are all in your head—literally. The regions of our brains that are in charge of memory and sensing pleasure are part of the problem. When we have food cravings, the hippocampus, insula, and caudate are activated. Brain research shows that the memory areas of the brain are more significant to food cravings than the reward center of the brain.
Our cravings are also connected to our emotions and desires. Food cravings often surface to satiate an emotional need. If we become stressed or feel panicked, cravings can feel overwhelming. As a result, our body will crave carbohydrate laden foods to boost our serotonin levels and create a calming influence.
What you can do about it
Understand the extend of your cravings
Out of sight doesn’t necessarily mean out of mind. Some poeple can quell their chocolate craving by eating a few chocolate chips. For others, they’ll want half the bag. If you are the latter, consciously allow yourself correct portions of the foods you crave. For instance, buy a single slice of pie instead of the whole thing. Or, purchase one donut instead buying a whole dozen. Needless to say, don’t ever buy a gallon of ice cream to take home. Opt for the pint instead.
Have snacks on hand
If you skip lunch or try to not eat when you’re really hungry, you’ll feel distraught and unsatisfied. Then, when you’re next meal rolls around, you run the risk of overeating because of how hungry you are. Instead, keep a stash of healthy snacks in your purse or in your drawer at work.
Eat smart carbs
Highly refined carb foods aren’t doing your emotions or your body any favors. Instead, nourish your body with smart carbs like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
Schedule a consultation
To find out more about how to look your best this holiday season, contact Bay Area Laser Cosmetic Surgery Center. You can speak with our team at Pinole (East Bay) (510) 724-8282, or Larkspur (North Bay) (415) 461-5755.