Have you ever craved a certain food so much that it seemed to completely overpower you? Do you find it hard to stop after just one cookie? Then afterwards you feel completely guilty and upset that you gave in so easily? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you are not alone. Many women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome suffer from intense cravings every day. These uncontrollable and extreme food cravings are a common symptom of PCOS.
Research shows that almost 100% of women will deal with cravings in their lifetime. You may think that the little voice in your head telling you to eat is just a figment of your imagination, but it is a sign of something bigger going on in your body. Our bodies are always sending us signals about what it likes and does not like. When we pay close attention and listen, we can learn to understand what it is trying to tell us.
Causes of Food Cravings
When you understand the causes of your cravings, you can start to make small changes to your diet in order to control them. Here is a list of the common reasons for cravings.
- You go too long in-between meals. This will cause your blood sugar levels to drop, making you feel tired, cranky, and crave carbs. Your body is asking you to fuel it with food. This may be why at 3 pm you want to raid the vending machine for anything with sugar. Instead of reaching for something with carbs, go for a handful of nuts. The protein and the fiber will balance and sustain a healthy blood sugar level.
- Eating too many simple carbohydrates can lead to cravings. Processed foods with little fiber such as white rice, white bread, and sweets are high on the glycemic index. They will cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, and then a fast drop, which can stimulate your appetite and trigger cravings.
- You don’t eat enough protein. Most of us eat meals that consist mostly of carbohydrates, especially in the morning, such as sugar-laden cereals, pancakes, and bagels. These high-sugar foods can cause a spike in blood sugar and then a big drop, causing more cravings. Protein helps to keep you feeling full and prevent cravings.
- You are eating a low fat diet. Thanks to the mentality that eating fat will make you fat, most people avoid it like the plague. Fats help you to feel fuller longer and prevent spikes and drops in blood sugar. They also help to lower stress hormones keeping cravings at bay. And studies show that eating healthy fats, helps you to lose weight.
- Not eating enough calories. When you are eating too few calories, you are probably feeling deprived and this can cause you to crave foods that are unhealthy for a quick fix.
- You have low serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your body that affects your mood. Sunlight is one of the