We all know that eating junk food like chips and candy bars are bad for us, but why do we still do it. The answer is in the brain. Human brains are dopamine seekers and will repeat behaviour that triggers the brain’s reward and pleasure centres. Thanks to this knowledge, food companies have created an actual science of making food as appealing and as addictive as they can. They spend millions creating foods with the optimal combination of fat, sugar, salt, texture and additional flavouring to trigger the reward centre in the brain, so they make sure we come back for more.
Train Your Brain
Before, fatty foods were not so easy to come by so biology wired our brains to purposely crave these kinds of foods. Scientists have discovered that it may possible to train your brain to prefer healthy foods. Craving junk food is simply a habit because we will crave the things we eat often. So in theory, if you stick to a certain diet plan long enough you can completely rewire your brain. They put obese men and women on a specific diet and observed the reward system in their brains. After a certain period of time their reward systems began showing signs of decreased sensitivity to unhealthy foods and increased sensitivity to healthy low calorie foods. So being adamant about your diet and not giving up has more perks than losing weight and fitting into a smaller dress size.
You can always substitute junk food with healthy alternatives, all you need to do is find out what works for you. For example fizzy drinks are the weak point for many people, try losing that habit and drink water instead. Some people don’t like to drink water at all due to it being flavourless and that’s ok, but don’t drink flavoured water thinking it’s heather because it has artificial flavours. A wonderful idea is to make your own: add fresh mint leaves or various cut up fruits to cold water, let it sit for a bit and enjoy. Instead of going with your colleges to a restaurant for your lunch get office fruit delivery and enjoy fresh fruits, a fruit salad or yoghurt. Avoid eating fried foods or breadcrumbing anything instead eat lean meats cooked with only a little bit of oil or pouched eggs.
What do Craving Mean?
Any type of craving indicates a deficiency of minerals, vitamins or even water. Craving chocolate means your body needs magnesium, instead of going for processed chocolate eat nuts, seeds or fruit. Wanting to enjoy oily fatty snacks or sodas means you are low on calcium go for turnip greens, broccoli, kale or cheese. Salt causes high blood pressure if left untreated it causes narrowing of arteries, damage to the inner lining of arteries, aneurysms, coronary artery disease, hart enlargement, strokes dementia and even kidney damage. Craving salty foods means you need more chloride so you can opt for raw goat milk, natural sea salt or fish. Look up food charts online to get a better idea of what your body needs.