I think we all experience or have experienced cravings at one time or another. If your anything like me then you blame giving in to cravings on lack of willpower or something you ate wrong yesterday or maybe not working out enough. We are so quick to blame ourselves. But then I realised something. Our bodies rarely make mistakes. It doesn’t forget to breathe or to pump blood or to digest food. It doesn’t forget how to walk or how to learn and so maybe we need to think about why our bodies are craving something? What does it need?
Cravings are not the same as hunger, although often we think we are hungry when we crave different foods. Hunger however comes from your stomach whereas your brain controls cravings.
Cravings are usually highly individual, only you can decipher what your body is asking for. But here are some common cravings and what your body might be after to kick start your own detective work:
- Chocolate – Everyone loves chocolate but if you’re craving it you might be deficient in magnesium. Try adding some more nuts, seeds, beans, raw cacao nibs or powder into your diet or talking to your doctor or health food store about a magnesium supplement.
- Salty Chips & Crisps – You’re body may actually be asking for more chloride so try eating instead some celery, olives, tomato or some Himalayan salt mixed with some water.
- Cheese – Craving cheese could mean your body needs more essential fatty acids. So instead of cheese give it some foods high in omega 3’s like flax oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds or some walnuts.
- White bread, pizza or pasta – Craving carbs? It could be a chromium deficiency. Try adding more onion, tomato, grapes, apples or sweet potato to your diet. Or add a little cinnamon into a tea and see if that helps.
You could also try having a big glass of water and then waiting 10 minutes to see how you feel after that. Often we are dehydrated and this can cause all sorts of cravings. Here are some other reasons you could be craving different foods:
- Have you been all day without eating? Perhaps your cravings could be related to low blood sugar. Try and eat a healthy meal with some protein or have a snack of some nuts, carrots with nut butter or a piece of fruit.
- Are you tired? This one is often it for me, when I am really lacking sleep I often get sugar cravings. It’s a sign from my body that I need to prioritise getting a little more sleep.
- Are you just bored? Or procrastinating a task you don’t want to do? Maybe instead take a quick walk or break to chat to a friend or work colleague. Often this break away from what you are doing can be enough to forget your craving.
- Are you stressed? Stress is often a major cause of food cravings and where possible de-stressing your life a little or slowing down will also help slow down the food cravings & have other added health benefits as well.
The key is to take cravings as a message from your body and so to have a think about what it’s trying to tell you without blame or guilt.
What do you crave and have you tried any techniques to stop cravings? We would love to hear in the comments below!
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