We crave food for all different reasons, including during pregnancy, to provide relaxation, relieve boredom or cope with negative feelings. However, indulging in these cravings when they arise can cause a huge setback to your otherwise healthy diet.
By learning how to identify the difference between hunger and cravings, you can manage your cravings and make healthier choices!
The Mayo Clinic provides these guidelines for differentiating between cravings and hunger:
Cravings are often caused by negative feelings and are usually for comfort foods, like chocolate, sweets and fatty foods. They often lead to eating something that makes you feel good at first, but then guilty. If you’re dieting, they’re probably stronger, especially if you’re giving up your favorite foods. Cravings also pass with time and often occur even after you’ve just eaten.
On the other hand, hunger usually occurs when you haven’t eaten for a few hours and results in a rumbling stomach, headache or weakness. It won’t pass with time and isn’t just for one specific food. Hunger can always be satisfied with a healthy snack or meal.
Once you learn to separate cravings from hunger, you can easily fend off the temptation to overindulge. If you have a craving, distract yourself by going for a walk, calling a friend, dancing to music or writing. We’ve got lots more tips on how to beat cravings here.