By Jamie Wykes Hobday |
Primarily, we should first acknowledge what a craving truly is and what causes them. A craving technically is an intense, urgent or abnormal desire for something and can be caused by factors such as dehydration (dehydration manifests itself as a hunger), hormonal fluctuations, emotional attachments, macronutrient/micronutrient deficiencies or you simply just love the food itself too much!
So, lets get started; we’ve all been there, you’ve had a long day in the office and its been pouring with rain all day. You get home and the last thing you want to be eating is a nibble worth of lettuce! Don’t be ashamed by this, we all have cravings; it is how we combat them, that is what defines us from the rest!
So firstly, let’s find out what is inside these foods that makes us crave them and more relevantly, what alternatives we can chose.
Potentially the most addictive food out there due to the fact it includes tryptophan, an amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in regulating our moods – an increase in these levels can result in a euphoric-like sensation, which explains why chocolate might be so addictive!
However, chocolate can be combated by food sources high in magnesium:
✓ Nuts and seeds.
✓ Dark, leafy green vegetables.
✓ All different types of fish.
✓ Dark chocolate – opt for a small amount of darker, richer chocolate to satisfy your craving.
Whilst it may seem hard to compare these foods to your favourite chocolate bar, give it a go – you will be pleasantly surprised and how your cravings will (should!) decrease.
General Sugary Foods
Next, it’s those guilty corner shop visits…. The cinema ‘treats’…. It’s sugary foods!
Similar to above with chocolate, to settle sugar cravings, we should look to consume tryptophan (as mentioned above.) Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin (feel good hormone,) hence why once the sweets are consumed you feel happy, before crashing due to the insulin sp
Just a few of the foods containing include tryptophan consist 0f:
✓ Dairy products – milk, yoghurt, cheese.
✓ Peanuts and almonds.
✓ Red meat and poultry.
✓ Various fish sources.
Although it is of importance to include carbohydrates in our diet, like anything, they cannot be consumed in huge amounts; they should be in a healthy moderation.
To cure our cravings of bread/pasta/rice etc., we need foods high in nitrogen aka foods high in protein, such as;
✓ Meat (both red meat and poultry.)
✓ Fatty fish e.g. salmon.
✓ Nuts – peanuts, almonds, cashews nuts.
✓ Beans and seeds.
For me personally, a salty food is where I crave. I love nothing more than a salty fish and chip supper – like I said, there is not one person who doesn’t crave certain foods – it’s just how you handle it.
In order to prevent our salty foods cravings, we need to look at foods high in both chloride and silicon (found in foods that are whole and unprocessed)
Foods containing chloride
✓ Goats milk.
✓ Fatty fish e.g. salmon.
Foods containing silicon
✓ Nuts & seeds e.g. peanuts, almonds, flaxseed.
✓ Fruit & vegetables e.g apples, oranges, cucumber, spinach, tomato.
Take Home Message
On the contrary, there is a mental tool we can utilise to combat the cravings – think about the long term picture and why you started.
Why did you start training?
Was it to get that body you’ve always wanted? Have you got it now?
We know that one meal won’t make you fat, like one meal won’t make you thin, but we all know how addictive it can get!
So just remember, is it really worth it in the long term?
As always, I hope this helps as it has been something that has been highly talked about and requested!