From various weight-related problems, food craving is something that sounds mundane, but actually contributes to various problems such as obesity and higher risk of diabetes (since food craving usually makes people want to eat starchy, fatty, or sweet foods). Scientist actually still debate about the cause; some think that food craving is caused by certain physiological needs by our body to absorb important nutrition that we lack of. Others think that it is merely psychological problem. Whatever the cause is: food craving is an indulgence that will slowly ruin your health if you do not control it.
Tips to Control Food Craving
Whether you want to lose some weight or keep your health in check, here are some ways to control your food craving:
- Skip the restrictive diet. Controlling weight is not the same with depriving yourself from certain group of foods; if you, for example, 100% cut off potato chips from your diet while you actually love these chips, you will end up shoving your mouth with more chips in the future once you lose control. It is better if you indulge yourself in more controlled portion, such as a small bag of potato chips every weekend, it is better than completely depraving yourself from these snacks and wolf down a big bag later.
- Drink and eat something light first. Once the craving comes despite you already have had meals, try drinking a big glass of water or a cup of hot coffee or unsweetened chocolate and eat some fruit slices. Wait for a while. If it is just craving, the ‘hunger’ usually disappears after a moment.
- Distract yourself. Whenever your craving goes back, always focus on something that you can do, such as cleaning up the room, rearranging your books and videos, and such.
- Trade calorie intake. If you have certain craving that happens for weeks, such as a craving for cheesecake or tiramisu, you can indulge yourself with a slice of these cakes once in a while. Count the calories and trade them with certain foods in your day’s menu, so you still have your intended calorie counting.
As you can see, there are several ways to beat food craving without unnecessarily restrict your stomach.
Psychological Root of Food Craving
Sometimes, the cause of this craving is psychological, such as depression, anxiety or stress. Many people usually do not immediately their food craving with daily stress and problems, and usually do not look for treatments until the problem gets worse. Therefore, if you suddenly have food craving, see if there are underlying problems that you try to cover and manifest into craving. Note how many times you eat because of anger or anxiety, and you probably have food craving case based in your underlying problem. If this is the case, asking for help for professional therapist or doctor is a great idea.
In short: food craving may sound like a mundane, harmless problem, but it will get you your fair share of health problems if you do not solve it.