Food cravings are often considered as the biggest challenge when one attempts to lose weight. Cravings are emotions focused on the desire for a food, drink, or chemical that imparts a comforting effect on an individual. There may thus be cravings for chocolates, donuts, or chips, which are generally considered to be rich in calories and thus not definitely the way to lose weight. For nutritionists and dieticians, these food items are simply considered junk food.
So how exactly can one lose weight when food cravings involve junk food that is rich in calories? According to a recent report published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, food cravings may be controlled without the consumption of junk food rich in calories by directly dealing with the feeling of satiety. The term satiety pertains to the feeling of being full, which is similar to the feeling gained after eating a complete meal. Satiety equates to the stoppage of hunger, which is the emotion of longing or desire to eat something in order to pacify that particular feeling. Once an individual achieves that feeling of satiety, then his or her food cravings, which are more likely associated with junk food high in calories, will be terminated. The cessation of food cravings by instilling the feeling of satiety may thus help lose weight.
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Food Cravings and Junk Food
The research study involved the participation of approximately 80 adults, of which 40 possessed normal weights and 40 were diagnosed at overweight or obese and thus were advised to lose weight. The investigators of the study subjected the study participants to one of two diets, one was characterized to have a low glycemic load, whereas the other diet was characterized to impart a high glycemic load upon consumption. Glycemic load pertains to the amount of food that will increase the blood sugar level after its consumption. In order to lose weight, the glycemic load should thus be reviewed in terms of calories. Junk food generally imparts a high glycemic load, in which consuming a small bag of chips or cookies may equate to high amounts of calories and thus the act of eating such will decrease the chances to lose weight.
The study participants were subjected to a controlled feeding regimen, in which each individual was assigned to either the high or the low glycemix index program for approximately 28 days. The meals with low glycemic index consisted of cereals, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat such as chicken and turkey. On the other hand, the meals of the high glycemic index included roast beef sandwiches, pancakes, and chili. Both types of meals were designed to provide enough calories for daily activities, although the high glycemic load meals were definitely very high in calories.
Body Mass and Junk Food
After 28 days, the study participants were examined in terms of body mass index, satiety levels, and intensity of food cravings. The results of the study showed that individuals on the low glycemic load regimen possessed greater levels of satiety and thus their cravings for junk food were less intense. More importantly, conquering the food craving emotion has helped these individuals lose weight by ceasing from eating junk food that were high in calories.
The study participants showed a lower body mass index with the female study participants showed a greater decrease in body fat as compared to that in men.
This recent medical report showed that the consumption of meals with low glycemic load might help an individual lose weight. This approach focuses on curbing food cravings that are usually targeting junk food that are rich in calories. The low glycemic meals thus substituted food items rich in calories with those that are high in fiber, thus allowing a person to reach that point of satiation, similar to what is achieved when eating junk food. It is also important to understand that food cravings may also be addressed by eating healthy food items, which may also impart a comforting feeling to the tummy, similar to that of junk food. Trying to lose weight may now become less stressful, especially when there are specific food items that are equally satisfying as junk food, yet at least twice more nutritious and healthy.