I pledge to eat healthy, exercise regularly and lose weight almost every month. But intense food cravings and hunger pangs force me to sway away from my plans. Random food cravings stem from our bad habits, which are deeply rooted in our lifestyles. These habits result in hunger pangs and cravings which cause weight gain, diseases and lack of motivation. But these food cravings are not the real problem. There are minute and seamless habits that give rise to these inner cravings.
Bad Sleeping Habits
If you are not keeping your sleep cycles in check, you are subtly welcoming food cravings. Why? Poor sleep quality trigger the production of hormones like cortisol, insulin, melatonin, adiponectin, ghrelin, all of which increase hunger. Poor sleep disrupts the production and flow of these hormones, affecting our blood sugar levels, ultimately making us feel intense hunger.
Bad Eating Habits
What? Food is the cause of hunger? Yes! Processed foods are full of simple and complex sugar. Blood absorbs simple sugars swiftly, whereas whole, natural foods have sugar that is absorbed in the blood very late. When we eat processed foods, blood sugar surges, resulting in the production of insulin from the pancreas to absorb all the sugar and energy to keep the sugar levels in check. When cells take this sugar from the blood, sugar level drops. This cause more insulin to be produced, which ultimately makes the immune system indifferent, causing hunger and lack of energy.
Not Getting Enough Proteins and Nutrients
When we eat good food – full of necessary nutrients – our blood sugar levels and cortisol levels remain normal. You must get protein in your breakfast. You can fill yourselves up by taking in fish, eggs, grass-based meat and organic poultry.
Lack of Fiber in Diet
Fiber slows down the insertion and absorption of sugar in the blood. When sugar is absorbed in the blood slowly, we don’t feel hunger quickly. Some of the best sources of fiber include cabbage, broccoli, flaxseeds, carrots, nuts, Brussel sprouts.
Lack of Carbs in Diet
In a bid to lose weight, sometimes we tend to avoid carbohydrates too much, not acknowledging the fact that carbs are a quintessential nutrient for human body. Too low carbs in diet cause stress, adrenaline problems and use of energy, ultimately creating hunger. You must increase your intake of carbs ( whole food-based).
Microbiomes in Gut
In our gut, we have something called microbiomes. These biomes are responsible for doing a lot of crucial work: fermentation of whole foods into SCFA, acetate, regulation of sleep, moods, sense of calmness. If these biomes aren’t working out right, you could feel intense hunger pangs and food cravings periodically.