Tag Archives: food cravings

How the Brain Controls Food Cravings – Study

Spoiler alert: Exercise has a positive effect on our food cravings. Eat less; move more; live longer.

A newly published study from the University of Waterloo shows that when activity in a specific part of the brain is suppressed, our desire for high-calorie foods increases.

close up photography of people picking nachos chips

Photo by Raizza Videña on Pexels.com

The investigators found that when they temporarily decreased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – the brain network responsible for self-control – participants evaluated high-calorie snacks more positively, paid more attention to appealing images of such foods, and reported stronger urges to eat them than usual.

“We used a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation to temporarily suppress the operation of a part of the brain that is involved in inhibition, known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” said Peter Hall, professor of Public Health and Health Systems and co-author of the study. “This resulted in increased attention to high-calorie food images, as well as stronger cravings for and more consumption of such foods when given an opportunity to sample them.”

The study involved 28 young adult females who reported frequent cravings for high-calorie foods but were otherwise healthy. Eighty-nine percent of the participants consumed more food after real suppressive stimulation than after a placebo stimulation.

“Several lifestyle factors affect the function of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” said Cassandra Lowe, lead author of the study and a PhD graduate from Waterloo’s School of Public Health. “For example, aerobic exercise has been shown to enhance it, while lack of sleep and stress can impair it – so there may be a link between these lifestyle factors and overeating via their impacts on the brain.”

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Filed under cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise benefits, food cravings, sedentary lifestyle

A Key to Decoding Your Food Cravings – Infographic

Many people have food cravings and those cravings can stand in the way of successful weight loss and a happy healthy life. I hope this infographic will help to cast some light on this emotionally-charged area.

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I have written about food cravings previously. To explore this area further check out:
What is a Healthy Way to Handle Food Cravings?
What Food Cravings Really Mean
Is There a Way to Control Your Cravings?
Sugar Overpowers Fat in Cravings Test
Taking on Your Food Demons

Tony

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7 Superfoods to Help you Live Longer – Infographic

Following is another infographic with a list of superfoods that can help you live longer. The data for each is on the brief side. Here are some links for further details, What is a Healthy Way to Handle Food Cravings?

Are Chia Seeds Good for You?

Coconut Oil – Why You Should Include it in Your Diet.

7-Superfoods-infographicTony

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What is a Healthy Way to Handle Food Cravings?

Everyone has suffered from food cravings at one time or another. For some of us the memory lingers on. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

Chocolate, carbonated drinks and bread are three examples of food items that spring immediately to my mind.

I certainly know about cravings for chocolate. I am not sure that I have fully conquered mine. I also know that while both men and women crave chocolate, women have it worse. Some 25 per cent of men crave chocolate, while 40 per cent of women do. Anecdotally, I have only met one woman in my life who didn’t.

Often a craving for chocolate is a result of a deficiency in levels of the trace mineral magnesium.

Often a craving for chocolate is a result of a deficiency in levels of the trace mineral magnesium.

FITDAY says, “Eating chocolate makes you feel good, because it increases levels of serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of well-being and enhanced mood. Many women experience lowered serotonin levels in the 7 to 10 days prior to their menstrual periods, which is one reason why premenstrual women often have powerful cravings for chocolate.

“High levels of stress can also make women and men crave chocolate, since increasing serotonin levels can also lead to significant reductions in anxiety. Chocolate is a popular comfort food. It is chosen by emotional eaters, since eating it can raise serotonin levels and help comfort eaters forget about emotional or other problems, low self-esteem or mildly depressed mood.”

Chocolate also contains trace minerals, including magnesium, which are often deficient in women around their menstrual cycles. So, instead of seeking solace in a Hershey bar, munching on some nuts, or leafy green veggies might restore magnesium levels in a healthier way.

Similarly, a lust for sodas and carbonate beverages can be linked to a low calcium supply. Again, dump the diet soda and get into some green veggies, like broccoli or kale.

While I don’t share the carbonated beverage craving, I will confess that some breads are absolutely magnificent to my taste buds. But a bread craving can also trace back to a shortage of nitrogen. Legumes, cauliflower and spinach are super sources.

So, if you find yourself on the wrong end of a craving, instead of just digging in, there may be a far healthier alternative. Don’t cave in to the cravin’.

Tony

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Filed under food cravings, soda, soft drinks, weight control

Is There a Way to Control Your Cravings? – Infographic

I firmly believe there is. Knowledge can set you free.

As a former fat guy, I still often crave sugar as well as salty treats. I regularly snacked on chocolate and then potato chips when I was busy losing my battle of the bulge. Now I simply realize that I am doing myself no good by eating that good tasting stuff, but non-nutritious stuff. I understand the impact of those sugars, fats and salts on my body and choose not to cave to my cravings. As I wrote in How to lose weight – and keep it off, I know that everything I eat becomes a part of me.

If that doesn’t work for you, perhaps understanding the source of your craving might be the key. Check out this list I picked up on the web that shows what minerals you are really needing when you reach for the junk. Good luck!

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Tony

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What Food Cravings Really Mean – Infograhic

Here is one word picture worth a thousand words …

Eat well, Live well

What Food Cravings Really Mean

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