Pregnancy and food cravings go hand in hand: Food cravings are sudden urges to eat a particular type of food. They are a real phenomenon and affect many women during pregnancy.Many of these cravings seem to come out of nowhere, and they can feel overpowering. What causes them? Hormones, right?
There’s no scientific explanation for food cravings. There’s no data saying that what a woman craves is related to something her body or her baby needs, and there’s no data to support that typical pregnancy food cravings are harmful, either.
There are three facts about the wonderful world of pregnancy that we all know to be true
- A woman can have one or more tiny humans floating around in her belly.
- After nine-ish months said tiny human will emerge from the woman’s body — naked, bloody, and possibly crying.
- During the nine-ish months, the woman is allowed to eat EVERYTHING she wants. No matter how weird it might be.
Why do cravings develop?
No one really knows why food cravings develop. It seems logical that cravings might be due to something lacking in the diet, or an increased need for certain vitamins and minerals. However, there is no evidence of a link between cravings and nutrient deficiency.
Ways to Stop Cravings
- Get enough sleep. Loss of sleep increases hunger during the day, which leads to cravings. Getting the right amount of shut-eye could stop cravings.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. For some people, cravings are part of a cycle of blood sugar highs and lows that can be kicked off almost the moment their feet hit the floor in the morning. A breakfast featuring fiber and protein is more likely to control this cycle. Consider a scrambled egg on whole-wheat bread or a turkey sandwich instead of sugary cereal or a Danish.
- Eat meals at scheduled times. The secret to stopping cravings is to manage hunger and “only eating at set times — no casual eating.
- Make the foods you crave difficult or impossible to get to. No matter how much you love brownies, if you don’t keep any at home or at work, chances are your craving will pass unsatisfied. Instead, make healthy alternatives easy to access in your eating plan and prepare ahead for those times when you’ll need a healthy snack within easy reaches, like when you’re on the road.
- Keep a food journal. This may not totally stop cravings, but it could keep you from acting on them if the thought of writing down the calorie and fat content of a steak is more painful than going without it. A food journal will also help you identify the times of day when your cravings are the strongest.
- Identify your craving triggers. Emotional eating is a real phenomenon. If you pay attention, you may find that your cravings are worse when you are stressed or depressed. Managing those situations will help stop cravings.
- Eat a varied diet. Sticking to the tried-and-true may help you count calories, but it could also leave you feeling unfulfilled. People need variety in their diets, so try new dishes or combinations of foods to stop cravings. Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean it can’t be satisfying.
When you are pregnant, there are a number of foods that should avoid. Things like soft cheeses, sushi, raw eggs and undercooked meat can contain harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. and lead to harmful illnesses such as listeria or toxoplasmosis.
Pregnancy facts aren’t so scientific, but it summarizes what many of us know about pregnancy, especially when it comes to eating. Food cravings are a common occurrence during pregnancy.
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