How often have you hunched over your desk and moaned, “I’m hungry. I want pakoras. NOW!” How about, “I’m hungry. I want chopped gajar. With sliced tinda. NOW!”?
You probably never yearn for the healthy stuff. That’s because cravings are never triggered by the tummy (which needs nutrition) but by your hormones (which are nothing but chemicals) and your wayward, treacherous mind.
Also read: Are you on a sugar high? Take this quiz to find out
Occasionally, a nutritional deficiency triggers cravings. When the body is short of magnesium, chromium, carbon, phosphorus or Vitamin B complex, you yearn for something sweet. And a need for salty food could also signal mineral deficiencies, or even a thyroid malfunction. People with low calcium diets, or those who are potassium or iron deficient crave salty foods.
To curb cravings, change habits. Tackle magnesium deficiency not with chocolate, but a mix of almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds. Lack B vitamins? Replace some chocolate with leafy greens.
Dopamine (feel good) cravings are somewhat harder to counter, but they can be managed. Just halve your usual portion of sweets. But don’t say that you’ll never eat chocolate again. If you do, it’ll just prey on your mind and soon, you’ll be bingeing on it till you feel sick.
(PS: Exercise and sex release dopamine too. Just FYI.)
From HT Brunch, October 5
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch