Food Cravings, and How to Curb Them

Wed, Jun 9, 2010


Have you ever wondered why you suddenly crave that chocolate cake or that hamburger? We try to keep healthy but when those cravings slap us in the face, it’s overwhelming and usually is the cause of our downfall when it comes to our health.

Being hungry is one thing but craving something is more specific, and can lead to binge eating. Also giving in to cravings can make one feel guilty. This brings Eva Kemps and Marika Tiggemann of Flinders University, in Australia, into the picture. They have been reviewing the latest research on food cravings and report about it in the most recent issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science.

These cravings have been thought to come from “mental imagery”, saying that when a craving rises, so does vivid images of that food. One study goes further to say that the strength of the craving was based on and linked to how vividly they were imagining the food. When you imagine things like food (or anything else), it takes up brain power and thus makes it difficult to complete cognitive tasks such as remembering words or solve math problems.

More recent research has found that possibly one could reverse the cravings by using cognitive task to reduce those cravings.  In the study they had participants visualize common images such as a rainbow or imagine smells like eucalyptus, among other tasks.

Basically if we choose to think about something else and focus on it, there is the possibility that we can reduce our cravings for foods. Just don’t focus on ice cream instead of that burger, as that may cause a whole other set of cravings!

Photo by chotda

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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