Written by Amy Morton on January 25, 2023
Simplified Answer: 

Many of us have experienced the feeling of constantly wanting to eat, even when we're not hungry. This can be frustrating and confusing, as we may not understand why our bodies are craving food when we don't need it. This type of behavior can be a sign of an underlying issue such as imbalances in neurotransmitters, nutrient deficiencies, or emotional eating. It's important to understand the root cause of these cravings and develop strategies to manage them in order to achieve a healthy relationship with food.

Research Article For: How to Stop Food Cravings When I'm Not Hungry: 

Food cravings can be a real struggle, especially when we're not actually hungry. Understanding the science behind these cravings can help us develop strategies for managing them. One key factor to consider is the role of brain chemistry.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation, is one area of interest when it comes to food cravings. A study "Brain serotonin, carbohydrate-craving, obesity, and depression", found a link between low levels of serotonin and carbohydrate cravings. This suggests that cravings for sugary and starchy foods may be driven by a desire to boost serotonin levels.

Another factor to consider is reward deficiency syndrome (RDS). RDS is a concept proposed by Blum et al in a 1996 article in the American Scientist, that suggests that certain individuals have a genetic predisposition to seek out pleasurable activities, such as eating, as a way to compensate for a lack of natural rewards in their lives. This can lead to compulsive behaviors, including binge eating.

Nutrient therapy is one approach that has been proposed for managing RDS and compulsive behaviors. A 1990 article in Addiction and Recovery by Blum et al, "Neuro-nutrient therapy for compulsive disease: Rationale and clinical evidence," suggests that supplementing the diet with certain nutrients can help to address imbalances in the brain that contribute to RDS.

Another key factor to consider when it comes to food cravings is sugar addiction. Another study, "Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake," found that rats who were exposed to intermittent access to sugar water demonstrated addictive-like behavior, including withdrawal symptoms and a decrease in dopamine sensitivity.

In conclusion, understanding the science behind food cravings can help us develop strategies for managing them. By considering the role of brain chemistry, reward deficiency syndrome, nutrient therapy and sugar addiction we can develop a more holistic approach to manage food cravings. 

It's important to remember that everyone's body is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. With the right approach, it is possible to address the underlying neurochemical imbalances that contribute to food cravings and binge eating. If you struggle with food cravings and binge eating, it may be helpful to seek out professional help from a certified recovery coach such as The Binge Eating Recovery Coach. Watch real-life case studies with this free case study video training showing that food cravings and binge eating recovery is not only possible, but it can be maintained with an individualized approach focusing on brain chemistry repair, naturally. Get the free case study here.

Scientific Research Article References For: How To Stop Craving Food When I'm Not Hungry:

Brain serotonin, carbohydrate-craving, obesity and depression. R J Wurtman 1, J J Wurtman. Fernstrom JD. Metabolism. 1977 Feb;26(2):207-23. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(77)90057-9.PMID: 13261 Review.

Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Nicole M Avena 1, Pedro Rada, Bartley G Hoebel

Neuro-nutrient therapy for compulsive disease: Rationale and clinical evidence,” Blum, Kenneth, PhD et al Addiction and Recovery, Aug. 1990. 

Reward Deficiency Syndrome. Blum, K., et al, American Scientist, March-April 1996, vol. 84(2), p.132.

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