Craving for French fries right now? But the thought that they are high in calories, carbs, and unhealthy ingredients and can derail your weight loss progress should act as a deterrent. It seems food cravings seem to hit harder when you have made up your mind to follow a strict diet and count calories in order to lose weight. Some research done point out that when we are seeking certain foods, it might be an indicator of a certain deficiency, but not all cravings can be associated with nutritional deficiencies, because visual cues and sensory stimulus (for example: watching a cookery show on TV, the smell of baked goods, or seeing someone have a red velvet cake) can trigger fierce cravings. They can also happen when you have starved through the day and towards the night, you end up with a ravenous appetite. There’s also an eating disorder called “pica,” where the person craves for odd substances like ice, chalk, and sometimes even dirt which is indicative of iron, calcium, and zinc deficiencies. Indulging in cravings once in a while is quite okay, but if they are preventing you from eating healthy on a daily basis, you need to address the issue right away. Most importantly, we would like to point out that cravings are not limited to nutritional deficiencies alone – food deprivation, starving in the name of diet, boredom, stress, lack of sleep, and not drinking enough water can cause intense cravings. However, in this post, we would be particularly addressing cravings that link to probable nutrient deficiency and the healthier alternatives to pick.
Why We Crave For Certain Foods?
1. Food deprivation.
2. Emotional trigger.
3. Nutritional deficiencies.
4. Visual and other sensory triggers.
6. Blood sugar imbalance.
8. Lack of fiber.
9. Lack of sleep.
What you Are Craving For Vs What Your Body Needs:
If you are craving for unhealthy food, you may be deficient in certain nutrients, so if you are trying to lose weight or get healthy and fit, it would be a good idea to find healthy alternatives in natural food. Here’s the complete list of foods to pick.
1. Sweets: Deficiency of Chromium, phosphorous, or sulfur. Healthy Alternatives: Eggs, fish, grapes, chicken, fruits, pumpkin seeds, nuts, whole grains, chickpeas, lentils, oats, walnuts, leafy green vegetables.
2. Chocolate: Most likely it is magnesium, chromium, vitamin B deficiency. Healthy Foods That Have These – Bananas, avocados, nuts, pumpkin seeds, fruits. Having said that, nibbling on dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa actually would boost your weight loss goals. Also read: “12 Ways Dark Chocolate can Help you Lose Weight.”
3. Soft Drinks: Most likely calcium deficiency. Healthy Foods with Calcium: Broccoli, eggs, cheese, legumes, broccoli.
4. Salty Foods: Sodium deficiency, electrolyte imbalance, or dehydration. Drink lots of water, do not cut out salt completely, consume salt in moderation.
5. Pizza/Burger/Junk Food: Lack of fiber, healthy fats, or protein. Weight loss will not happen by slashing down calories or food deprivation – having a nutrient-dense diet, rich in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients would actually help burn fat more efficiently. Rati Beauty diet is one such diet where people have lost significant pounds by actually eating healthy food. Download the Rati Beauty app for more details.
6. Cheese: Calcium deficiency. Healthy (or can we say low calorie) alternatives would be milk, tofu, okra, broccoli, almonds, beans, sesame seeds, etc.
7. Candies/Cakes: Chromium, magnesium deficiency. Healthy alternatives would be banana, almonds, spinach, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds for magnesium. Raw onions, green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, lettuce, broccoli are rich sources of chromium. Have a banana instead. It may also mean you are dehydrated. Candied fruits may also help.
8. French Fries/Fried Food: Healthy fats are missing! This is what you need to hear – healthy fats can actually make you lean. Here’s where you can find them – avocados, chia seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and even peanuts.
Summing up, consume nutrient-dense whole foods, stay away from refined food and sugar, which keep you in the loop of hunger and cravings, and if weight loss is on your mind, do check out the Rati Beauty diet.