It’s a mystery isn’t it? Going from fridge to cabinet to pantry knowing you are hungry but not knowing what you’re hungry for?
Hunger is an umbrella whose spokes branch out in different directions. Sometimes it’s not a food you’re even seeking. Rather it could be comfort, security, to soothe loneliness or a need for increased mental focus.
Occasionally your body simply desires water which is found in all foods and it’s not hunger pangs at all. So drink a glass and see if that helps. If not, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or is it simply a feeling that needs addressing?”
By understanding the reason why behind the loss of control, you’ll recognize the urge when it occurs again.
Creamy foods like mac and cheese provide comfort. Are you sad, lonely or did you recently suffer a loss?
Hard, crunchy foods is usually an indication you are angry or stressed. Did your boss or mother-in-law tick you off today? Stress affects the adrenal glands and releases toxins into your system which is dangerous.
Sometimes we simply love to eat! Therefore select wisely:
Craving sweets? Slice up a nutrient-dense apple or banana and dab a teaspoon of peanut butter on a few pieces. For a real treat, melt about 12 semi-sweet chocolate chips and dip some strawberries into the sauce. You’re getting magnesium, potassium, choline, copper, B vitamins, iron and many other essential nutrients. Not bad!
Craving specific nutrient-based foods is the way the brain’s hypothalamus tells someone they are low in a particular nutrient.
For example, low in energy? Lack of chromium or iron could be the cause of an insulin imbalance resulting in low blood sugar and energy. Instead of reaching for a piece of cake or a sixth cup of coffee, reach for raisins or a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses. For lunch create a spinach salad, roast beef sandwich or grill a 93% hamburger.
Another alternative would be to select foods high in Chromium. This essential micronutrient acts like a doorknob, allowing insulin to be enter your body more slowly. You can find it in walnuts, sliced chicken, red grapes, corn, broccoli or mushrooms. Always try to balance your meals with a combination of lean protein, good omega 3 fatty acids and fibrous carbohydrates for longer lasting energy.
Finding yourself mentally fuzzy-brained and reaching for that energy drink to get you through the day? Rather than consuming that sugary donut or chemically-dangerous beverage, consume nutrients with a bit more beneficial power like green tea, avocado, banana or berries, especially blueberries. Spicy foods like salsa also rejuvenate!
It’s not unusual during the winter season to become depressed as sunshiny days are few and far between. Garlic is a great mood enhancer. Add it to pasta sauces, pork, beef, chicken recipes, grilled vegetables or as a dip with vegetables.
Anything’s fine in moderation! Indulging in a piece of good quality dark chocolate is absolutely acceptable each day as long as it doesn’t challenge common sense. Make yourself a fruit smoothie or even a chocolate shake with 1% milk and ice. Yum! If chocolate becomes addictive with uncontrollable cravings, don’t bring it into your home.
As the Apostle Paul says: “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
By taking control of your cravings you’ll feel as empowered every day!