Whether it’s a late-night slice of pizza or a sugary breakfast pastry, we all experience cravings. And they often feel impossible to ignore. While it seems like our stomachs are screaming for ice cream, our brains actually play a huge role in food cravings–which means they’re not as hard to stop as we might think.1 Cravings are both mental and physical, says Michael Mantell, Ph.D., a transformational behavioral coach who specializes in obesity. “The craving begins in your mind and then in your mouth.”
We often link cravings to a lack of self-control, but it could simply be your body’s way of asking for fuel. “Your body is designed to do everything in its power to prevent you from starving. So when you don’t give your body enough food, or you give it food that breaks down too quickly, it releases stress hormones,” says Tara Coleman, a clinical nutritionist. When your body wants fuel fast, it usually wants it in the simplest form (a.k.a. sugar), which is why we tend to crave sweets and carbs, not veggies, Coleman says.
Plus, as anyone who’s gone through a breakup knows, cravings can be tied to feelings such as sadness, anger, boredom, stress, or even excitement. It’s great to be aware of this connection, but we know it’s not always possible to completely avoid feeling stressed, tired, or, well, hungry AF. Next time you feel an out-of-nowhere urge for chocolate coming on, try the following tips to squash your cravings.
Michelle Meyers, a well-know physician, author, and professor of physical therapy at the University of Kentucky, published analysis for both the layperson and for educational on fat loss nutrition topics, including gluten-free, low-carb and paleo.