Many women crave carbohydrates from time to time. Carbohydrates break down into simple sugars in your digestive system and provide you with energy. Without carbs your body, or mind would not be able to function properly. This is why you normally crave carbs when your energy levels are down.
If you find that you crave carbs a lot, you should know that it is not because you lack discipline or do not have enough willpower. But rather it is your body telling you that something is missing. Most women will crave for carbs at one point or another for various different reasons.
Lack of Nutrition
A lack of nutrition causes a hormone imbalance, which can cause you to crave carbs. Studies have shown that when a wide variety of nutrients are consumed, the cravings for carbs seem to vanish.
Low Blood Sugar
Most food cravings are associated with low blood sugar levels. These cravings usually will hit you at the same time of day; usually in the late afternoon or early evening. They may also occur when you are dieting or after a skipped meal when your energy levels are down. You can avoid these by not skipping meals, as well as by munching throughout the day on healthy snacks.
Low on Serotonin
Serotonin is a hormone that makes you feel good and gives you more energy. When serotonin levels are low, your body sends a signal to the brain letting it know that it is hungry. As soon as you eat, your serotonin levels are restored along with your energy.
Any type of stress, anger, depression or just being bored may also be the result of low serotonin levels, and may cause you to crave for carbs. Your body is feeling down, and somehow it believes that food will lift you up. This usually works, and that is why you immediately resort to foods at the first sign of stress. If you find yourself in these situations, try not to opt for junk foods, but rather choose a healthy snack.
For some reason women need more calories in the days leading up to their menstrual cycle. Medical science has not figured out why this is, but it could very well be the body's way of building up the serotonin levels to help fight the negative mood swings that are associated with PMS.
Chances are that you could be addicted to certain carbs, and that is why you continuously crave them. For example, if you are used to eating a bowl of cereal before bedtime, or a sweet desert after a meal, your body becomes accustomed to it to the point where you crave it, even though you are not hungry.
There are two types of carbs: simple carbs, and complex carbs. Examples of complex carbs are whole grain foods, legumes and vegetables. These are not readily absorbed in the body, as they first need to be broken down into simple sugars. Examples of simple carbs are chocolate, cookies and sodas. These are easily absorbed and can be used immediately as energy. Hence the reason you crave simple carbs rather than complex carbs, because your body needs an immediate boost.