Why do we crave foods?
If you crave that “feel good” feeling from food, there’s a good reason. When we eat, neurotransmitters like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin can be released. There is an evolutionary reason for this. If food didn’t taste good and give us pleasure, we would never have known to search for it and survive as humans.
A lot of the research into food addictions has only been performed on animals but some interesting results are coming through. When animals have access to highly tasty foods such as those high in sugar - and then have it taken away (the fancy word for this is intermittent access) - they will binge. However, when the sugar is readily available all the time, the chance of bingeing is much less.
So, the take-home message is: if we restrict our diets too much, we essentially place some foods, usually those high in fat and sugar, on a pedestal. We know they taste good and because we don’t know the next time we’ll “allow ourselves” to have them, we will often crave them and then overeat.
What’s the alternative?
Mindful eating is an emerging no-diets approach to health. It essentially means “eating with awareness” and without judgm