Crush Your Food Cravings: Discover the Science Here

Food cravings are those powerful urges for a specific type of food that we all know too well. But guess what? Understanding why these cravings happen and how to tackle them can seriously boost your health and make you feel amazing every day!

Causes of Food Cravings

  1. Hormonal Changes: Hormones play a significant role in food cravings. For example, fluctuations in hormones like serotonin and leptin can trigger cravings, especially in women during their period (Psychology Today)​.

  2. Brain Chemistry: The brain's reward system is heavily involved in cravings. Foods high in sugar, fat, and salt can trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. Over time, this can lead to cravings for these "hyperpalatable" foods​ (Harvard School of Public Health)​.

  3. Dietary Restrictions: Strict dieting can often lead to increased cravings. When certain foods are labelled as "forbidden," the psychological response can be an intensified desire for those foods​ (Psychology Today)​. If this is something you struggle with, be sure to check out our recipe books for nutritious alternatives to your favourite foods. Yes, we’re talking zinger wraps, pies, desserts, and more!

  4. Emotional Factors: Stress, anxiety, and other emotional states can lead to cravings as a coping mechanism. The release of cortisol during stress can increase appetite and cravings, particularly for high-sugar and high-fat foods​ (Harvard School of Public Health)​​ (Psychology Today)​.

Myths About Food Cravings

  1. Cravings Indicate Nutrient Deficiency: A common myth is that cravings signal a nutrient deficiency. While this can be true in some cases, most cravings are more related to the brain's reward system and emotional state rather than a specific nutritional need​ (Oxford Academic)​​ (Academic Oxford University Press)​.

  2. Cravings Are Uncontrollable: Many people believe cravings are uncontrollable. However, with mindful eating practices and understanding the triggers, it's possible to manage and reduce cravings effectively​ (Psychology Today)​.

Strategies to Curb Cravings

  1. Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation: Practising mindfulness can help manage cravings by making you more aware of your hunger cues and emotional triggers. Techniques such as pausing to reflect on your emotions and waiting for the craving to pass can be effective​ (Psychology Today)​.

  2. Balanced Diet: Ensuring a balanced diet with adequate protein, fibre, and healthy fats can help stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce cravings. Regular meals and snacks can prevent extreme hunger that often leads to cravings​ (Harvard School of Public Health)​.

  3. Healthy Substitutes: Finding healthier alternatives to your craved foods can satisfy you without compromising your diet. For instance, if you crave sweets, try having fruit or a small piece of dark chocolate instead​ (Harvard School of Public Health)​. Combine these choices with TNT’s Recover, which works to stabilise your blood sugar, keeping cravings at bay while supporting your dietary goals.

  4. Stress Management: Since stress is a major trigger for cravings, finding effective ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or talking to a friend, can help reduce the frequency and intensity of cravings​ (Harvard School of Public Health)​.

  5. Avoiding Triggers: Identifying and avoiding specific triggers can help. This might include certain environments, situations, or even advertising that prompts cravings. For example, avoiding the snack aisle in the grocery store can reduce impulse buys​ (Harvard School of Public Health)​​ (Psychology Today)​.

Kick Those Cravings To The Curb

Understanding the science behind food cravings can give you the power to make healthier choices and develop smart strategies to beat them. By busting the myths and using practical tips, you can take control of your cravings and completely transform your diet for the better!