Why do we crave junk food?

Your desire and will for junk food isn’t a weakness, it’s a hard wired desire which has been caused by evolution and exposure. You need to reset your system in order to able to ignore the Colonel and those Golden Arches!

The impulse moment of wanting or needing junk food, doesn’t come out of hunger it comes out of a desire to be happy! When you devour a junk meal your body releases a stimulant referred to as dopamine, which essentially is the feeling of pleasure. High amounts of dopamine are released into your system when you are engaging in activities which can be seen as crucial in human life, such as eating, drinking and sex. Your brain remembers the experience of eating a certain food, and remembers how happy it was which is why you’re encouraged to eat it again!

Breaking a habit isn’t easy, especially when it’s your brain pulling you back for more, not the additive properties of the food! If you associate a certain type of food with a certain positive experience, upon having that experience again your body will crave that food. For example, if you go to the football every weekend and your team wins and you happen to get a Big Mac on the way to the station, your body will unconsciously link that food to that experience. Therefore, when you go the following weekend and they win again, your body will remember that emotion and link the food you ate at the time to the reason of happiness also.

So controlling yourself, it’s actually easier than you think providing you have the ability and self power! If you can resist the craving for up to 10 minutes, or have the opportunity to take a walk your craving should disappear! If you can spend time clearing your head, you shall be better equipped to block out the lunch time Kit-Kat!

If you’re still struggling why not keep a food diary? Record everything you eat and what you crave! This may allow you to work out a pattern of when you crave and what you’ve done before it! It has been found that sharp tastes can in fact stop the cravings. Tastes such as Lemon and Listerine can reduce the craving and allow you to carry on as normal. So if all else fails, go suck on a lemon.

 

 

 

 

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