Why Do We Crave Food?


| 10 Comments

3_tips_pulverize_cravings_d.jpgOver the past year almost 100% of women and 70% of men have reported having at least one food craving. That means that just about everybody has felt the intense need for a specific food.  This need goes past being hungry in general, but instead is the focus on one particular item.

 

Why are cravings a big deal? For one, they can lead to binge eating, which can further lead to obesity and all the problems surrounding it if the cravings are frequent. They also make it difficult to focus on other tasks and topics. A recent study showed that when people have cravings and were asked to complete cognitive tasks such as solving math problems, it took the participants with the cravings longer to complete these tasks.

 

This could easily become a problem if there is no way to satisfy the cravings and you need to get a lot of work done, so what is the solution?  As it turns out, if you are having a craving and take the time to focus on a common sight or smell such as a rainbow or a flower, it can reduce your craving.  The cravings come from the hippocampus in the brain, the part of the brain responsible for memory.  If the memory of the food you crave is strong, the craving will likely be strong as well.  However, if you distract the hippocampus with another memory of another sight and smell, it can reduce the food craving, and you can get your work done!


Sources:  

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-facts-about-food-cravings

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517172300.htm

 

 


10 Comments

Man, I can totally relate to this article. Ever since I had pizza at the Big O( since I live at east) I've literally been eating it every day and craving it. But the problem is, eating too much pizza is bad for you, and being in the ROTC program its not good for me to be unhealthy and out of shape. So I think I will try this strategy of staying away from pizza by distracting myself with other things, thanks a lot!

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/pizza-craving
This tumblr page isn't helping....

This article caught my attention, using this theory but applying it to my situation, I work at at the West Food District and during my shifts, if I don't eat beforehand I get so hungry! This article makes so much sense though, cause I'm not so hungry to begin with but as my shift starts and I'm in constant contact with the food and serving it, I think my brain concentrates on it and makes me so much more hungry. I guess the theory stays the same?

I am a self proclaimed carb-ivore. I crave all kinds of pastas, potatoes, and breads! It makes sense that this stems from the memory center. I suppose that is why it takes us hearing about/seeing a certain food for our memory to remind us how much we want it! According to this article, chocolate is the most craved food in America.

http://www.lifescript.com/diet-fitness/articles/t/the_science_behind_food_cravings.aspx

Oh my gosh, food cravings = my life. I find it so hard to resist temptation, especially with chocolate. http://theberry.com/2013/09/04/chocolate-yums-20-photos-recipes/
That's my biggest weakness. At home, my dad has to hide the chocolate chips from my mom and me... I'm glad you have included a solution to this problem. I will have to try that next time.

I honestly think about food way too much. Whether I'm in class or working out, I always think about what my next meal will be. I will definitely try distracting myself next time!

Here is an article that gives you 16 ways to reduce food cravings:
http://www.wikihow.com/Resist-Naughty-Food-Cravings

This is so good to know! I feel like I always have certain hunger and cravings, especially with the hectic college lifestyle where eating habits are spread out and never consistent. Now to know to focus on a sight or smell, I can reduce my cravings and focus more on what needs to be done (like these comments). I found some information on a Ms Ward, a psychologist, is doing research on food cravings. This website, http://ahha.asn.au/news/researcher-yearns-understand-food-cravings, gives some basic information which can be elaborated on through links and other websites as well.

..Just seeing that picture makes me want to go out and eat a donut. This was a pretty interesting read: didn't think about distracting the Hippocampus while being hungry could reduce cravings. Is it possible that there is a form of conditioning when it comes to associating food, and studying?

This definately makes sense to me, when I'm on Pinterest and looking at different recipes to try and I see something I definately enjoy eating I get such a huge craving for it. Distracting yourself also makes sense to me since when you are waiting for something to happen you have to do something so you don't end up watching the clock and watching time pass so slowly. This website gives some more ideas on how to give up and lethttp://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20349566_2,00.html go of those annoying food cravings we all get,

My earlier article kind of went a little crazy and went inside my comment instead of at the end, so here's the article that helps get rid of those cravings!

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20349566_2,00.html

As a psychology minor, I was aware that the hippocampus was in control of cravings... but I had no idea you could fool it like that! I guess distraction is key when it comes to suppressing anything, from food cravings to body pain. Sometimes it feels like it's all in your head. This article explores how cognitive tasks interact cravings: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517172300.htm

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