A food craving is an intense desire for a particular food. This desire may seem uncontrollable, and a person may feel that he or she cannot satisfy his or her hunger until he or she receives that particular food. Food cravings are extremely common, with more than 90% of people experiencing food cravings.
Every person experiences desires differently, but they are usually temporary and often processed foods high in sugar, salt, and unsanitary fats. Research suggests that males are more likely to crave tasty foods, while females are more likely to crave high fat, sweet foods.
Food cravings may lead a person to eat food that has adverse health effects and may disrupt efforts to follow a healthy diet. This article examines the causes of food cravings and explains what simple steps people can take to deal with them.
What is a Pregnancy Craving?
Food cravings are a sudden urge to eat a particular type of food. They are a real phenomenon and affect a lot of women during pregnancy. Sometimes there’s a craving for common foods, such as chocolate cakes or apples, and sometimes there’s an urge to eat unusual food combinations or a kind of food that you don’t like.
Causes of Pregnancy Craving
People may experience food cravings from nowhere, or they may be related to seeing, smelling, or hearing about a particular food. For example, seeing a chocolate advertisement might trigger a craving for it. The brain regions responsible for memory, pleasure, and reward have a role to play in food cravings. Hormone imbalances, such as leptin and serotonin, could also lead to food cravings.
It’s common to want strange combinations of food or things you’ve never wanted to eat before during pregnancy. But doctors don’t know exactly why pregnant women need special tastes, textures, or flavor combinations. Rapidly changing hormones may be the fault. Cravings may also happen because of the extra work your body does to produce a lot more blood quickly.
When do pregnancy cravings start?
For most women, cravings begin in the first trimester, peak in the second trimester, and decline in the third. Doctors say that few cravings go on after delivery, so you’re not going to eat the same odd things forever. In fact, a lot of women have one craving for a day or two, another craving for another day or two, and so on.
Some common pregnancy cravings are:
- Spicy foods
- Ice cream
- High Carbohydrate foods
- Fruit and vegetables
How to beat Pregnancy Cravings?
Whether you think you’ve got common or weird pregnancy cravings, there are ways you can manage those feelings. Here are a few tips to help:
Eat regular meals and snacks
Eating regularly throughout the day can help prevent you from getting really hungry—you may be less likely to overeat less healthy foods.
Choose high fibre foods
Eating high-fiber foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholemeal bread, and legumes can help keep you fuller for longer. These foods not only give your body essential vitamins and minerals, but they can also help maintain your energy levels.
Prepare healthy snacks in advance
Keeping some healthy snacks around you can make it easier to avoid snacks on less healthy foods. Make some quick, healthy snacks like bliss balls or ice cream if you’re feeling sweet. If your pregnancy cravings are for salty foods, try some air-popped popcorn, a handful of nuts, or spread some nut butter to the apple.
Drinking water throughout the day can also help reduce fatigue. You can even try some fruit-infused water, which is a great way to increase your intake of fluid. You may want to limit how much water you drink in front of your bed so that you don’t get up and down to the toilet all night.
Get enough Sleep
Trying to sleep well during pregnancy can be hard as you adjust to changes in your body. Sleep helps to regulate your body’s hormones, so a lot of broken sleep can lead to an increase in ghrelin, a hormone that triggers your appetite. Lack of sleep can also increase the level of leptin, a hormone that helps to regulate energy that can affect the level of hunger.
Choose alternative options
Substituting a high-calorie food that you would like to eat with similar properties but lower in calories is another way to deal with food cravings during pregnancy. You can always choose frozen yogurt or frozen fruit bars over high-calorie ice cream. Same way to choose salted nuts instead of potato chips when you’re looking for short salty foods.
Most people have food cravings from time to time. These cravings may cause them to snack on unhealthy food, which may lead to weight gain. Various methods, such as reducing stress and staying hydrated, can help people to minimize their cravings. Substituting healthy food for unhealthful food can also help.
Food cravings can be stopped through:
-Eating more protein
-Distancing yourself from the cravings
-Plan your meals
The most common food cravings during pregnancy are:
-Ice cream and candy