How Food Cravings Make You Overeat
Food cravings are caused by a combination of biological and psychological factors.
Commonly craved foods include:
- Sugar-laced confections including candy bars, cakes and pastries
- Salty foods including chips
- Sugary drinks
- Ice cream and other rich dairy products
These cravings are not unusual. Your tongue has receptors for sugar and salt. Most people experience the desire for certain foods with little nutritional value.
Emotional Eating Disorders
Emotional eating is a serotonin response. This is a neurotransmitter produced by the gastrointestinal tract that makes people feel better by releasing serotonin into the brain. Sweet, rich foods release this mood hormone to make you happy while downing that dish of ice cream or a candy bar.
These are comfort foods, high in calories, sugar and saturated fats. Comfort foods include ice cream, whipped cream confections, puddings, cakes and soft cookies. Sweet chocolate is a comfort food.
Emotional problems such as personal rejection, depression, lack of confidence and the loss of someone or something special can drive people to seek comfort in food. The emotional problems are infinite since comfort foods can also be substitutes for love and affection.
Sweet foods and some salty foods that are easily absorbed also release endorphins into the brain. This works like an opiate to relax people. Many processed foods high in sugar, salt and fat become addictive due to endorphins. The result is impulse and binge eating.
A Vicious Cycle
Fat cells contain leptin, a hormone that tells people when they are full. It works with other enzymes in the intestinal track to send messages to the brain. Leptin also tells people when they are hungry.
The more fat tissue you have, the more leptin is released into the brain. Sugar and many processed carbohydrates continually trigger leptin to make you feel hungry.
Stay hydrated by drinking water and other clear liquids that do not contain sugar and additives. Clean tap water and bottled water contain mineral salts that your body needs. Green, black and herbal teas consumed without sugar or artificial sweeteners will give you flavor and help you feed full.
Avoid sweet foods and processed foods. Stick to a balanced diet that will make you feel full and release the right amount of hormones that will keep you from overeating.
Exercise daily with walking, a workout or other activity. A brisk walk for a half hour stimulates your metabolism and your circulation. Exercise does not make you hungry and it can help your digestion.
Get Help with Food Cravings at NYC Weightloss Solutions
Trained nutritionists at NYC Weightloss Solutions can help you overcome food cravings and put you on track to healthy eating. Click the icon below to sign up online – or – call (212) 759-8118 for a free consultation.
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