Most of us exhibit small gestures of self-control all day long. By the time dinner rolls around, our will power is heading towards a down slope and we experience “decision fatigue,” leading to impulsive food choices. After 9 p.m. comes the major cravings. Also the stress hormones peak at the end of the workday, making us think that the junk food tastes great, hence our 3 p.m. race to the vending machine.
Good eating habits erode as the day gets long, the health quotient of our meals dropping 1.7 per cent with every passing hour, these are the findings reported by a self-tracking app called the Eatery, which helps dieters and gluttons alike record and hopefully understand their eating habits.
Ice- Cream: Cravings for ice cream can be so strong they are similar to those experienced by drug addicts, a study has found. The research, published online by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those who regularly ate ice cream needed more and more to replicate the ‘high’ they first experienced.
Bag of Chips: Most of the time night-time eating is associated with other activity like watching TV and playing on the computer, which leads to mindless eating and, typically, over consumption. You are left to realize a bag of chips is empty in minutes. Ads can make food look very, very good,” says Kelly Brownell, Ph.D., director of the Yale enter for Eating and Weight Disorders and the author of Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America’s Obesity rises & What We an Do About It (contemporary Books/McGraw-Hill, 2003). Because our bodies have evolved to survive food shortages by gobbling up lots of food when it is readily available, it really doesn’t take much to trigger a binge — even when we’re not hungry.
Chocolates: Chemicals present in chocolate are related to the THC found in marijuana, trigger anandamide, known as the “bliss molecule.” This triggers a high of happiness and well-being that a lot of people feel after eating chocolate. Chocolate also contains theobromine, a compound similar to the caffeine that gets people addicted to coffee. Chocolate, as it turns out, is a bubbling brew of 380 chemicals, a bunch of which are known to have an effect on mood. It’s a darling little meth lab of feel-good chemicals in a heart-shaped box.
Beer: Alcohol is nothing more than liquid calories. Many mistakenly believe that because alcohol is liquid it’s not as bad as eating a cheeseburger and fries. A calorie is a calorie. Whether it’s from liquid alcohol or fried foods, the calorie will still add pounds on the scale and cholesterol in your arteries.
Cookies: If you are craving for cookies, your blood sugar and/or serotonin levels are low. Stress can be another factor responsible for cravings that can occur up to 24 hours post stress response!! So even if you feel calm and collected when the cookies call stress could still be the culprit in your craving.
Candy: Your body probably needs rest and sleep more than it needs sugar. Serotonin is a brain chemical that makes you feel content and happy. Eating sugar can increase the absorption of an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps your body make serotonin, so it’s possible that eating something sweet may make you feel happy. Just last week researchers at Yale University revealed that dramatic falls in blood sugar, which occur after eating “bad” carbohydrates such as sweets and biscuits, affect the part of the brain controlling impulse. This leads to a loss of self control and a subsequent craving for more unhealthy, high-calorie foods. Craving for sweets through the day indicates an underactive thyroid gland, which leads to fatigue. Tension in the muscles – which are also not getting the energy they need to function. Another aspect would be Steroids and stress, which increase your body’s secretion of the hormone cortisol, can suppress your immune system, allowing yeast to run wild, making candy cravings constant.
Burger: A craving for red meat is often a sign that you’re lacking iron and/or conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that helps your body burn stored fat.
Pasta: A pasta craving bizarrely usually indicates a lack of sugar. When your sugar levels are far too low, your body enters a state called hypoglycaemia, which causes you to crave carbohydrates. So craving pasta and bread usually means you need to find something sugary, such as fruit, fast!
Pop corn: Stress hormone fluctuations are responsible for salty, buttery popcorn craving.
Cheese: Craving for cheese is sign of Essential Fatty Acids and Calcium-phosporus deficiency.
Plan YOUR afternoon snacks and dinners in the mornings when your willpower is strong, or on Sunday night, after you’ve finished treating yourself. Also, Write new algorithms for your brain, such as, ‘After 8:30, if I eat anything, the only thing that I can eat is carrots.’ And have a bowl full of carrots sitting in the refrigerator. Trust me, you will thank yourself in the morning. If you find this really tough, take a pint or quart of ice cream and divide it into small one-scoop portions and store them in the individual containers. Stack the one-scoop containers in the freezer. Now when you have an urge, go ahead and have the ice cream, but allow yourself only one container at a time, which means one scoop. Whether it’s putting chips in to a smaller Ziploc bag or slicing up that candy bar and refrigerating it in sections, you can plan ahead to satisfy those cravings without overindulging.
If your cravings are attached to visual stimuli, figure out a way to avoid seeing that stimulus. It’s always a great strategy to replace unhealthy routines with healthy ones.