Are you trying to lose weight, but struggle with food cravings? Here’s a surprising fact: those urgent “gotta eat this now” feelings may not be your fault.
Food cravings are often a powerful signal that something is out of balance. By “listening” to your body — including food cravings — you can modify your lifestyle and stop cravings before they start.
Most people don’t associate vitamin intake with reduced food cravings, but when the body is deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral, cravings for a food that might correct the imbalance can be particularly intense. To cover your bases, and prevent cravings, I encourage you to take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement.
Surprisingly, a lot of Americans don't get enough protein in their diets. In addition to helping you feel full and satisfied, protein is an important source of amino acids the body uses as neurotransmitters. Deficiencies of neurotransmitters like serotonin or dopamine cause a breakdown in cellular communication, resulting in both mood changes and food cravings.
The pharmaceutical companies are well aware of this fact and are developing appetite suppressants that mimic the mood-boosting effects of naturally occurring amino acids like L-tryptophan, tyrosine, and others. But with a simple homemade protein shake, you can achieve the same mood boosting effect, without the dangerous side effects or expense.
The latest research has linked a lack of sleep—or more precisely, the lack of sleep-promoting hormone melatonin—with insulin resistance, an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, and specific food cravings.
The reason is that insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have melatonin receptors. When your brain releases melatonin while you sleep it helps to shut down insulin production. Individuals who sleep little or poorly become more resistant to insulin, and their insulin sensitivity resembles the insulin resistance of a person with diabetes.
To make matters worse, sleep-deprivation can cause you to crave starchy, sweet foods—starting a vicious cycle that can lead to diabetes! So, to avoid food cravings get your zzzzz’s.
Having a low level of vitamin D increases insulin resistance, which tends to increase fat storage. It also depresses mood and subsequently leads to food cravings. The best way to increase the amount of vitamin D in your body is by getting a 10 to 15 minute daily dose of natural sunshine. If daily sun exposure is not possible, taking a supplement is also a good way to replenish your body’s supply of vitamin D.