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Sometimes, those daily cravings for the sweet and salty can seem to rule your life. Regardless of all your best efforts and good intentions, it seems you just cannot keep yourself from the good stuff. Fortunately, there is hope for people who have a problem with cravings-and let’s face it, we all get hit with it at one time or another-scientists have been studying the underlying psychological and physical causes of cravings. Here’s what they found out. This is where I found the article:

Urges for the sweet stuff

Researchers at the Food and Brand Lab at UL Urbana-Champaign have discovered that “when it comes to foods eaten in the hope of gaining psychological comfort, guys like hearty meals, while females watch for snacks that need little or no prep.” The reason driving this was found to be connected to lifestyle factors. Brian Wansink, the Food and Brand Lab marketing professor, explains, “Because adult females are not generally accustomed to having hot food prepared for them . . . they tend to gain psychological comfort from less labor-intensive foods such as chocolate, candy and ice cream.” It’s sad, but true.

The brain’s metabolic activity

Another interesting study turned up more bad news for ladies. Researchers hooked a group of fasting guys and ladies up to machines that measure brain activity. Then the researchers exposed the group to food and asked some of the participants to try to ignore their cravings. When the men ignored their cravings, researchers observed with “this willful inhibition directly impacted brain metabolism . . . [the men] felt a decreased desire for food.” However, when ladies were asked to do the same thing, there was “equivalent brain activity . . . the women were tantalized regardless of their efforts at self-control.” Do not get discourage just yet though, there are still things you can do to fight the cravings. Try putting the alluring food out of sight and out of mind. Whenever you feel yourself reaching the breaking point, go in another room or for a walk. Avoid going on a crash diet, as your cravings will likely just increase until you end up binging on the forbidden food.


Craving Clues

Food Cravings

Scientific American

Everyone has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.
-Jeremy Collier
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