Food cravings can be caused by several factors, which can usually be split into two main categories: physical and mental. Becoming aware of them may help you figure out which factors specifically trigger your cravings.
In this post, I am going to touch on the mental aspect: the brain–gut connection.
We think about food digesting in the stomach, but digestion happens way before that…
Did you know that digestion happens even before food touches our tongue?
Your gut aids as a mini-brain and is responsible for digesting food.
Your gut also plays a role in influencing your food cravings.
Therefore, digestion first happens in the brain.
When we see food or smell food, we think about food which triggers our hunger and our motivation to go out and get food.
Don’t believe me?
Think about sucking on a lemon or drinking something like pickle juice!
What happens in your mouth?
Your mouth waters…..with saliva! Saliva contains enzymes that break down food. The brain then tells the body to prepare for incoming food.
It’s like a domino effect. Every stage of our digestive system prepares the body for the next stage of digestion.
This all becomes automatic and is part of the habit loop.
Remember the habit loop?
Cue → Craving → Response → Reward
Cravings are triggered by cues.
Examples of cues:
- Food billboards
- TV commercials
- Food porn on IG
- Seeing food
- Internet ads
- Smelling food
- Hearing food cook
No wonder our appetites are insane.
No wonder our cravings are out of control!
No wonder more than two-thirds of the population in North America are overweight or obese.
This week, or even today, be on the lookout for how much you are exposed to food marketing. Treat this as a food experiment. You will be shocked!
Please comment below and let me know what happens and what you see now that you may have not noticed before.
This can be a powerful shift in your mind!
Lastly, there IS a difference between hunger vs. cravings. I share my thoughts on this here.
Awareness is key!
PS. Sometimes all you need is a guide. Someone to keep you in check and hold you accountable. Book a time on my calendar in three easy steps to see what the power of a plan and accountability can do for you!