Food Cravings for Calories, Not Carbs


It wasn’t a surprise to read a press release on a recent study conducted at Tufts University on food cravings. Researcher Susan Roberts said, “”The findings [of this study] suggest that cravings are for calories, not carbohydrate, as is widely assumed.” Although foods craved do contain carbohydrate, they often contain fat and protein, too.

The study then went on to say that food cravings are normal (91 percent of people report having them), but it appears that dieting increases the frequency. Which makes sense, of course — when we’re hungry, we crave food! No rocket science there.

In this month dubbed National Diet Month, it’s useful info to keep in mind as many of us seek healthy weight loss. When we start craving food, it’s a good sign that we need it. It’s not a sign that we’re weak willed.

If you’re having trouble managing food cravings, think first whether you really need to eat. Then, if you’re not hungry, but still craving, could deprivation be at work? When we cut out foods in the belief that they ‘make us fat’ or somehow interfere with weight loss, we might set ourselves up for wanting them even more. Think moderation, not elimination if this is the case for you.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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