I recently got into a debate on Twitter, one of the folks, I follow found out she is allergic to an ingredient in Oreos. That was her go to treat. That spurned a whole flurry of tweets about favorite junk foods and the best way to eat them. Ahhh junk food, it brings back the best memories!!! Junk food is so bad for you, but it tastes so good. And it sets off the pleasure center in your brain, making you crave more and more. The following 5 reasons you crave junk food are very common, and understanding them can help you get your diet, your waistline and your health back on track.
- You Crave Junk Food Simply Because You Eat Junk Food — Junk food has so little nutritional value that the more you eat, the more lacking in healthy minerals and nutrition your body becomes. You do not receive enough healthy nutrients, vitamins and minerals, but the food tastes great and gives you a boost. Your brain tells you that you are still hungry, since it needs the essential nutritional components it is missing. You reach for something more to eat to solve the hunger problem, and you find junk food in your hand again.
- You Crave Junk Food Because Your Brain Tells You To — Many unhealthy foods are intentionally engineered to set off a pleasure response in your brain. Foods filled with sugar, salt and fat automatically send a signal to your brain that makes it feel good. In response, your brain tells you to get more of that thing which just made it feel so happy. That is why eating junk food just once can turn into nearly irresistible junk food cravings in some people.
- You Crave Junk Food Because You Are Tired and Worn Out — Junk food is often jam-packed with sugar and other sweeteners. You are lagging in the middle of the morning or afternoon, and you need a quick pick-me-up. Unhealthy, sugar-filled snacks will definitely give you a quick boost. But this artificial energy leads to an inevitable crash. And it is accompanied by other unhealthy chemicals and processed ingredients that do your body and your mind more damage than good
- .You Crave Junk Food Because You Just Finished Eating a Meal — This may sound a little weird, but when you leave food particles in your mouth after eating, you can actually stimulate junk food cravings. If it is not possible for you to brush her teeth after you eat a meal, rinse your mouth out with water or chew gum (helps clean your mouth).
- You Crave Junk Food Because You Are Very Happy… Or Very Sad — It is widely known in the medical and health communities that up to 75% of overeating happens as an emotional response. And this can often times mean reaching for unhealthy junk food and comfort food.
If you find that you are an emotional eater, listen to my podcast reviewing the book 50 Ways to Soothe Without Food.