• Kerry D. Friesen, MD

Craving Junk Food? Learn 3 Ways To Turn Off Your Worst Cravings!

Updated: Mar 8, 2019

Food cravings come in five flavors: fatty, salty, sweet, sour or all of the above!

Here's the science behind your cravings and what you can do about it right now.

Our brains are wired for hunger. It's how we've survived through the millennia faced with the constant threat of food shortages and famine. Scoping out and eating the highest-calorie foods meant you got to live another day.

Today, food is plentiful and we enjoy instant access to all the calories you could ever want and the constant cravings that come with it.

Here's what you need to know to win the battle against your worst cravings.

Know this first, it's not "willpower" you're lacking, just simple information about the way your brain works. Remember, our brains are wired for hunger. The trick is in managing the emotions that are connected to the craving and substituting a healthier more permanent, non-food solution.

For example:

1. Keep a selection of essential oils with you that you find mentally refreshing and use one as soon as the craving hits. Spearmint, peppermint and any essential citrus oil is stimulating enough to divert your brain away from food and back to the here and now. Don't discount this until you try it. In one study, lemon oil was found to be a universally positive mood booster. The human brain thrives on new and uniquely stimulating smells and can help conquer cravings quickly !

2. Drink more water. Your brain is easily confused because some foods are higher in water content and therefore satisfy both hunger and thirst. This can lead to eating to satisfy thirst. The next time your feel hunger pangs, try an eight or better yet, sixteen ounce glass of water and wait 15 minutes for the "hunger" to subside. Now celebrate your freedom from mixed-up brain messages that have been leading you astray!

3. Finally, instead of food, try rewarding your brain with music! Earbuds are ideal. Pop them in, pick a song and drift away. Give yourself 15 minutes of solid relaxation and watch the cravings crumble. In a room full of people? No problem. Suggest to your host that music would be a nice accompaniment to the conversation then remember to listen–really listen. In another study that focused on anxiety and eating, it was confirmed that music therapy was at least as effective as standard behavioral therapy!

Contact The Friesen Center, your doctor in Dalton, Georgia to begin your comprehensive wellness journey.