Is Your Diet Causing Food Cravings?
There’s a saying that goes: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In this case, you may have decided to overhaul your diet and eat clean to reclaim your health. When people try to change their lifestyle overnight, they often discover that the journey is fraught with obstacles such as food cravings, slip-ups, binge eating, and so on.
Common Causes of Food Cravings
While food cravings can come from breaking old ingrained habits, other factors can also be a cause. Let’s have a look at some of the most common causes of food cravings
Sugar is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to food cravings. If you’re trying to lose weight and prefer eating an energy bar for lunch rather than a normal meal, you may not realize that the energy bar may be lower in calories, but it’s also filled with sugar.
Since sugar is a highly addictive substance, you may have gotten away with the energy bar for lunch, but later in the day, youíll start having cravings for junk food, sugary food, etc.
What are you currently eating?
The food you consume impacts the way you feel. Some foods make you crave more food. You must be aware of what you’re consuming and look for hidden sugars in your foods.
Are you cutting your calories drastically?
Another mistake millions of people make when trying to lose weight is trying to starve themselves to speed up their weight loss. They then struggle with the hunger and food cravings that come about from consuming so little food.
If you’re going too fast, do not eat anything for the entire day. After 3 days of fasting, your hunger pangs will dissipate, and youíll be in ketosis. You’ll burn a lot of fat and sees fast weight loss.
However, do NOT drastically reduce your calories and eat a small portion of food daily. This will mess with the glucose levels in your body. You won’t achieve ketosis, and the food cravings will NOT end.
Even after a week of calorie restriction, your cravings will be strong, and your daily life will be a miserable battle of wills between you and the cravings.
How exercise impacts your diet
Your exercise regimen also dictates if youíll have food cravings. Itís important to know that your diet must be suitable for your training.
If you spend an hour jogging on the treadmill daily, youíll deplete your glucose levels. Youíll then craves carbs and sugar to replenish your glycogen levels.
Unlike endurance athletes who are fat-adapted and burn fat as a fuel source, most people burn glucose for fuel. They havenít trained their bodies to burn fat.
How Intense Are Your Workouts?
So, if you’re not consuming enough carbs and doing too much cardio, your body will constantly have food cravings. It would be better to do shorter and more intense cardio sessions (HIIT), which will not cause food cravings. Resistance training, yoga, etc., are strenuous activities and don’t deplete your glycogen levels as severely.
If the food youíre consuming lacks sufficient nutrients that the body needs, your body will have food cravings. It doesnít needs more food ñ it just needs the right food. Give your body the nutrients it needs, and it will not be nutrient deficient and crave more food.
Depending on your meal timings, food cravings may arise if your meals are spaced too far apart. This is why most fitness plans recommend 5 or 6 small meals spaced throughout the day.
If you have dinner at 7 pm but only go to bed at 1 am, youíll be hungry and craving food by 11:30 pm. Space your meals out wisely to fit your schedule and prevent food cravings from occurring.
These factors are the ones that trip most people up. Avoid them, and you’ll be able to curb your food cravings greatly. You may still get them because you are trying to change your eating habits, but they’ll be easier to manage and overcome.