By Chef Selwyn Richards
Food cravings aren’t as simple as some may believe. People are often told to use willpower or simply stop eating certain foods. However, cravings are often rooted in psychological, physical, or emotional needs.
The first step to curbing your cravings is figuring out what causes them and then, why you can’t control the urges.
Outside factors such as manufacturers and advertising media have an effect on cravings. Sugar, salt, and the carbohydrates in processed foods make you want more. However, these aren’t the only reasons cravings can grab you, when you least expect them.
Cravings can be the result of a lack in nutrients or the environment we live in. It could be stress, emotions or conditioning that makes us crave different foods.
Cravings can be harmful in several ways. Some of the more common problems include weight gain, which can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, or heart disease. Another harmful outcome of cravings is addiction. Foods like sugar, and anything that breaks down into sugar, such as alcohol, can be addictive and very difficult to be without.
There is good news though. Cravings can be controlled with hard work and changes in your diet and habits.
For instance, if you normally eat lots of processed foods, begin cooking your own meals, to help control the amount of sugar, salt, and fats, you intake. Take advantage of fresh herbs and spices to add more flavor to your meals. Filling up on savory healthy meals, every three hours or so, will help curb your cravings.
Control your environment and the people you associate with as well. If you have trouble saying no in social situations, you may need to find new activities. In the end, curbing your cravings can help you lead a much more healthy lifestyle.
Selwyn Richards is an award-winning master chef. He is also the President and Executive Chef at The Art of Catering Inc. and is the author of “The Art of Cooking: Soul of The Caribbean”. Chef Selwyn can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone — (905) 619-1059.