A lot of people view cravings as a lack of willpower, but don’t fret if you tend to be one of those who dips your hand into the cookie jar more than once a day. Sometimes those cravings have nothing to do with willpower. In fact, cravings are most often a sign that your body is lacking something nutritionally!
The most common cravings are those of the salty or sugary variety. Think back to the last craving you had. Was it chips or a slice of cake? These cravings aren’t uncommon, but they can reveal to you some nutritional holes that may need to be plugged. Read on to find out how to combat the two most common food cravings!
If you’ve ever eaten your way through an entire bag of salty tortilla chips, then you already know how out of control this craving can get. Cravings for salt are not just a sign that you are deficient in a few vital minerals, but can also lead to unwanted weight gain and future heart disease.
So what causes those uncontrollable salt cravings? Believer it or not – dehydration can cause salt cravings. In fact a lot of times, that hungry feeling you have isn’t hunger at all, but rather your body signaling it needs to be hydrated. Sip 8 ounces of fresh water before reaching for any kind of snack – the results might surprise you!
Stress is another factor of salt cravings. When you become stressed your body’s adrenal glands become overworked. Adrenal glands release aldosterone, which helps to keep your sodium levels steady. When overworked, adrenal glands production of aldosterone can go down, which leads to salt cravings.
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One of the most common cravings is a sugar craving, and they typically occur when your energy has dipped and you need a quick pick me up. Some people reach for a sugary latte or drink while others grab some form of processed sugar treat from a vending machine. Candy is easy – just toss some Jelly Beans or M&Ms into your mouth and you are ready to go! Except you aren’t, and that sugar will have you crashing in less than an hour.
So why do you crave sugar? Sugar tends to be the go-to pick me up because glucose is the body’s main source of fuel – used up mainly by the brain. Sugar also releases an endorphin that calms and relaxes us and can give us a natural “high”. Mostly though, we crave sugar because it tastes so darn good!
The problem with indulging in our sugar craving is this – one craving tends to lead to another. Have you ever found yourself starting the morning with a donut only to crave a candy bar come mid-afternoon? Sugar is one of the most common cravings to battle as well as one of the most difficult to shake. Indulging in a sugary treat isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but prolonged sugar intake can lead to diabetes – a dangerous disease created when the body can no longer manage the its glucose levels.
If you often combat salt or sugar cravings you aren’t alone. These two common cravings derail plenty of dieters and even the most dedicated heath food eater. The trick to beating them is to discover the root of the craving and treat it – not give in to the craving!
Jenny Travens is a chief editor and a wellness coach and fitness blogger for SuperfoodLiving.com. She loves to share her knowledge about the different ways of staying fit and healthy and helps people to conquer over health related issues and maintain their fitness regime.