Out of many things and experiences that we crave for, Food is the most common craving most of us have. Is it really food or food like edible taste bud stimulating substances that we crave for?!
Food craving is an intense & mostly uncontrollable desire for a specific food or a specific taste. It can be for few minutes or can go up for few days based on the intensity and the reason behind it.
Our body or specifically our brain always seeks pleasure. It seeks it more obviously when we are stressed or worked up. Therefore, any physical, physiological or psychological deficiencies that makes our body and mind deprived of necessary pleasures, can induce craving. These pleasures are satisfied by various desires like travelling, solitude, talking, music, eating, sleeping, certain beverages, smoking, intoxicants, and lot more which is very subjective to each individual based on what we crave for and what we are satisfied with.
Let me give an example - Say you are continuously working on your system on some project. There is a lot to focus and lot to complete within the a certain deadline. Your brain in constantly working and to work optimally, it requires adequate energy supply which is nothing but glucose. Therefore, we tend to have food craving that can instantly give us glucose like sweets, ice creams, chocolates, carbonated drinks, fast foods etc.
Some of the causes for food cravings are
Many a times, craving is a behavioural conditioning where one associates it with a particular emotion; for example stress with eating. So, every time one is stressed, they feel that only eating can calm them down.
Hunger refers to an empty stomach or the feeling of hunger comes in the absence of fullness of stomach. Hunger and Craving can co-occur but hunger is not pre-requisite for craving. Craving can occur irrespective of stomach being full. It can be differentiated from hunger through its intensity and specificity. Hunger can be satisfied with any type of food but craving majorly seeks specific taste and specific food.