What are the common causes of food cravings?

Food cravings can occur as a result of several factors, both physical and mental. 

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the common ones among them.

So, read ahead!

It’s normal if you desire a specific food once in a while. But if it happens frequently and seems irresistible, then the condition can be termed “food cravings”.

Food cravings are very common nowadays and occur differently from person to person. Studies have found that men crave savory foods, while women are likely to go for sweets or foods high in fat content.

Without further ado, let’s get a look at the common factors contributing to intense & uncontrollable food cravings.

Stress increases cortisol levels in the body

Stress or anxiety increases your levels of cortisol hormones. This is linked to hunger, making you crave food items. Also, it causes your brain to look for delicious food that may help in the release of dopamine in your body.

It’s advised to do exercise and meditation regularly to reduce your stress and anxiety levels.

Lack of sleep is a trigger of food cravings

Studies have found that people who sleep less at night are more likely to experience a food craving the following day. Your body needs at least 7 hours of sleep daily to get the required amount of energy. So, lack of sleep makes your body crave food in order to get other forms of energy.

It also increases the body’s cortisol levels, which is further associated with intense food cravings.

Dehydration can intensify feelings of hunger

Dehydration is a significant trigger of food cravings, especially for sugary items. It inhibits the ability of your body’s organs to release glycogen (and other components) into the bloodstream. This causes the blood sugar levels to drop, sending signals to your brain that your body needs food to compensate for the energy.

Hence, drink at least 4-5 liters of water every day.

Hormonal imbalance plays an important role in increased hunger

As already mentioned, an increased level of cortisol hormones in the body leads to an irresistible craving for food. Several other hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, estrogen, progesterone, TSH, etc. also affect your feelings of hunger as well. So, a disruption to the levels of any of these hormones can cause food cravings in no time.

Nutrient deficiencies may cause you to experience more cravings

Some research studies have indicated that excessive food cravings may be a result of certain nutrient deficiencies. When you’re deficient in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, etc., it makes you crave more food to get all the required nutrients.

Fiber and protein keep your body full for a long time. So, it’s suggested to adopt a diet rich in these nutrients.

There are many science-backed methods that you can use to manage your cravings.

Sayan Paul

Sayan is an art lover with a passion for life and food. Films and music are his two biggest companions and he learns and grows with every film he watches and every song he listens to. He is whom we turn to for all things related to entertainment and films.
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