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Craving for something? Here's why

For years, scientists have struggled to explain how cravings cause perfectly sane and healthy people to gorge themselves on junk food. Now, it seems one has the answer. Read on to find out.

health and fitness Updated: Sep 27, 2011 13:50 IST

For years, scientists have struggled to explain how cravings cause perfectly sane and healthy people to gorge themselves on junk food. Now, however, one psychotherapist, Dr Dorothy Virtue, believes she may have the answer.

She believes food cravings are as natural and predictable as a startled reaction to a sudden loud noise, and her work centres on the belief that psychological issues such as stress, anger, anxiety and shame drive us to crave either sweet, crunchy, chewy or creamy foods, reports the Daily Mail.

Berry chocolateFor starters, if you’re feeling stressed, resentful, bitter or frustrated, you’re likely to turn to foods that you crunch.

Next up, we crave for creamy, soft foods such as ice cream or cheeses when we feel anxious, insecure, embarrassed and guilty, because they can be relaxing and comforting.

Then comes the urge to grab chewy food, when you are probably harbouring long-suppressed feelings of either jealousy, confusion, dread that something awful is going to happen, or self loathing.

Spicy/hot cravings mean you crave excitement and intensity in your life, and may not be getting enough thrills.

Cravings for nuts could indicate you are fun-deprived, and desire some fun and pleasure.

Meanwhile, carbohydrates (bread, rice and pasta) are most craved by people who are stressed, tense or frightened.

A craving for biscuits, cakes and pies reflects a desire for comfort and reassurance, but it can also signal a resistance to doing something you don’t want to do.

Chocolate is one of the most common cravings especially when we are in need of love or are feeling disappointed in a relationship.