Never Have Another Junk Food Craving. Ever.
Hitting those late-night ice cream binges hard? Regularly polish off 10-too-many chocolate chip cookies? Here's why
I indulge. I hate myself for it. And the nasty cycle continues.
I'm guessing you might be able to relate. About 90 percent of women (and 50 percent of men) get food cravings a few times a month, says Susan B. Roberts, PhD, a professor of nutrition and psychiatry at Tufts University. Why do we crave junk food? (And it's always junk food -- you never hear about someone's kale binges, right?) Often it's a psychological thing: We reach for the mac and cheese after a rough day because that's what mom used to make for us. And sometimes it's physiological: We guzzle a venti coffee after a sleepless night because we're exhausted and need the jolt of caffeine.
But what about the junk food cravings that come out of nowhere? The ones that hit when you're feeling great? Those could actually be a sign that you're missing something from your diet, says clinical nutritionist Stella Metsovas, BS, CCN. "Physiologically, the body will crave junk foods that could potentially mimic the nutrient that is deficient," she says. "The brain actually craves a quick-release because of the low quality of foods you're consuming."
Obviously, this cycle of craving junk food when what we really need is health food doesn't do us any favors. For starters, it'll pack on the pounds. But more importantly, while junk food may mimic the energy or nutrients in healthy foods, it won't give us the actual benefits. And so the food cravings will continue.
Skip ahead to find out how to stop your junk food cravings now.
But here's the good news: If you know what your body really needs when you're craving sugar, carbs, salt, or whatever your vice of choice, then you can load up on those nutrients in a healthier form. Which means that there's a good chance you'll be able to scale back your junk food cravings dramatically.
SEE NEXT PAGE: If you crave...carbs