Hunger or Cravings?
Hunger or Cravings?
Your body is smart and instinctively knows how much fuel it needs, however sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between true hunger and a craving.
A good balanced diet means giving into the OCCASIONAL craving won’t do you too much harm, eating too much of the bad stuff won’t help your health in the long term.
Stress? Low-energy? Here we look at some of the common reasons we reach for unhealthy foods and give a few tips to get back on track.
Trigger – LOW MOOD
Having one of those days, nothing seems to go right? Food can sometimes seem like a good way out of the dreadful black hole, to make you feel better. Whilst the odd indulgent dessert might feel like the best way to drown your sorrows, overall it can lead to an emotional rollercoaster by spiking your blood sugar levels sending them haywire. The other side of that coin is eating well and munching on foods that can perk you up can help offset negative emotions. Eat yourself happy by filling up on food that lift your mood - Avocados, nuts and seeds rich in Omega 3 fats which nourish your brain and help create serotonin. Start your day with poached eggs and avocado on seeded bread this will start your day in a happy way.
Trigger- ENERGY DIP
Opt for food that offer a steady release of energy will help keep your energy level stable. Missing meals or snaking unhealthily like grabbing amid morning chocolate bar you may experience an energy crash which will lead to a cycle of high and low blood sugar levels. Eat complex carbs such as brown rice and wholegrains with good proteins at each meal to help balance- out your blood sugar. Good examples would be brown rice salad with chicken or a lentil soup with a wholegrain roll.
If your cravings are stress related, you have to get to the root of the problem, controlling how that nasty pressure cooker feeling affects your diet. Whilst controlling stressful situations is never easy, it’s crucial in helping you feel better. You may feel like treating yourself to your favourite foods when stress strikes, but if your reaching for junk food or sugary treats you are likely to feel worse, not better. Processed foods can affect your skin health, mood and concentration levels as well as slowing down your metabolism and adding those extra pounds. Check in with yourself ask yourself the reason you are eating those foods you know aren’t good for you. Slowly start to adjust your diet. Have healthy snacks you enjoy to hand, hummus and seeded crackers, boiled eggs on toast nut butter and banana or apple will fill the gap.
Sometimes we reach for the wrong foods out of habit, but if you are eating too much it can leave you feeling sick, uncomfortable and bloated. Move your mindset think about nurturing yourself with nutritious foods and you will be treating yourself with far more kindness and respect. It’s empowering knowing that what you are putting in your body will help support it, to be the best it can be rather than just eating comfort – which means you feel physically and emotionally bad in the long run Use a new perspective when looking at food, wrap up those leftovers and put them away rather than digging in for second helpings when you aren’t hungry and don’t need more. Think about your kitchen hygiene, I don’t just mean cleaning the worktops, clean the cupboards too. Restock with nurturing wholesome foods, healthy seed spreads coconut oil tins of beans and pulses
Hunger Vs craving – can’t tell the difference?
Try this simple exercise.
1. Picture a healthy snack, say an oatcake with some hummus, does it sound appealing? If not it could be a sign you are craving not hungry.
2. Switch that snack for something sweeter, say a sliced apple with nut butter, That still not sound satisfying, another sign it’s a craving not hunger
3. Acknowledge you are not hungry that you are experiencing a craving and try and find something to occupy yourself, craving will go away hunger will intensify