Food cravings are extremely common. Sometimes, they are too difficult to ignore and manifest through an extreme or urgent desire for a specific type of food, although the food craved will vary from person to person.
It can be a sign of some underlying conditions. Therefore, you should never do these cravings.
Possible reasons for your cravings
There can be many factors that cause food cravings. It is usually be split into two main categories, physical and mental. Being conscious of them may help you recognize which factors specifically trigger your cravings.
Some physical causes:
Pregnancy: Hormonal fluctuations in pregnancy may affect your smell and taste receptors in turn, inducing you to experience more intensified cravings.
Poor Hydration: Ingesting few liquids can also exacerbate feelings of hunger or cravings in some people.
Physical activity: An improvement in your physical activity, even if just by walking extra, may help decrease food cravings. Furthermore, moving less than you normally do may cause you to encounter more food cravings.
A nutrient-poor diet: Some nutrients like protein and fiber can help you feel satiated. A diet that is low in these nutrients may induce you to feel hungry or experience cravings. Even if you have otherwise eaten adequate calories.
Highly processed foods: There is some proof that highly processed foods rich in added fat and sugar may cause addiction-like symptoms, possibly increasing cravings.
Leptin and ghrelin imbalances: An disproportion in these hunger and fullness hormones may induce certain people to feel more food cravings than others.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): The differences in the hormones estrogen and progesterone that happen right before your period may intensify cravings, particularly for carb-rich foods.
Lack of sleep: Too little or poor quality sleep can disrupt your levels of the hormones accountable for regulating hunger, fullness, and sleep-wake cycles, possibly increasing food cravings, particularly in the evenings.
Some mental causes:
- Stress: Stress can raise your levels of the hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels may be associated with hunger- or binge-eating behaviors, cravings, and a higher likelihood of stress.
- Your mood: Some moods may trigger cravings for particular foods. For example, Sad moods appear to normally spark cravings for comfort foods.
- Your personality. Some data suggests that people who are more sudden or have higher scores on measures of addictive personality may also have a greater likelihood of feeling food cravings.
- Eating context. Your brain can compare eating a specific food to a particular context — for example, popcorn and a movie. It may cause you to crave that particular food the next time the same circumstances come around.
Many physical or mental factors can cause food cravings. They may be a symptom of hormonal imbalances, a lack of sleep, a suboptimal diet, high-stress levels, or physical activity.
Food cravings are sometimes a sign that you require the nutrients found in that food. However, desiring nonfood items, such as dirt, ice, or laundry detergent, may sometimes be caused by a diet that’s too low in some nutrients.
If you’re currently craving nonfood items, speak to your doctor to rule out nutrient deficiencies as a cause.