Everyone has cravings from time to time, and very rarely are they for something like broccoli or asparagus.  Rather, we tend to crave the foods we know we shouldn’t consume when trying to stick to a healthy eating plan.

Giving in to those cravings satisfies them temporarily, but research shows the more junk food we eat, the more we crave. Have you ever wondered why that is?

It’s intentional. 

Using detailed research about how specific texture and flavor combinations trigger salivary and sensory responses in the brain — including flooding our bodies with feel-good hormones — producers of junk food actually work to ensure their products are addictive.  Yes. Addictive.

Junk foods are literally designed to override our self-control mechanisms so that we eat more of them, more often, and then feel deprived when we try to eliminate them from our diets.

But that doesn’t mean we’re helpless when faced with a food craving. There are many ways to combat the urge to reach for the diet-busting foods we crave, including drinking more water and not buying overly tempting foods in the first place.

Acupuncture can also play a role in reducing and eliminating cravings.

This ancient healing art, which involves the painless insertion of tiny needles into strategic points of the body, can be used to manage stress, a common trigger for mindless snacking and overeating; promote better sleep habits, which are essential to controlling hormonal fluctuations that contribute to poor dietary habits; and regulate the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for hunger hormones, appetite and digestion.

Acupuncture has long been used to help with addictions and can be an effective tool for controlling appetite and cravings.

If struggling with cravings is making it difficult for you to stay on a healthy eating plan, let’s see how acupuncture treatments can help.