Why We Crave What We Crave

April 2016 - Nutrition

Cravings. Oh, cravings. Wouldn’t life be easier without those pesky cravings? We all could be eating “perfectly” if we didn’t dream about chocolate or potato chips all of the time. (And, for the record, a “perfect diet” simply doesn’t exist, so we can stop striving for it.)

What if I told you cravings weren’t something to resent and brood over, that they’re actually a language of your body? What if your cravings could be used as a signal of an imbalance? And what if learning what they mean is the only step you need before you can start to appreciate them?

We’re living in a very odd time food-wise. This is the only time in human history we’ve needed nutritional experts to tell us what and when to eat. We have lost our traditional ways and stopped listening to our own inner guidance, and instead rely on science and experts to tell us what is “right” to eat…and our science and experts keep changing their opinion, making eating more and more confusing with each passing year.

It may seem too simplistic, but from my experience, learning what your cravings mean can help enormously in creating a healthy and balanced way of eating.

Some cravings are fairly straightforward (more on that in a moment), but some are a bit more difficult to decipher.

The first step is to keep a food/feelings journal. Write down what you eat and how you feel. What are you craving and when? What days do you have evening cravings? How’s your stress level?

Map this out and you’ll start to put together some direct connections; like, if I don’t sleep well then I’m craving more sugar throughout the day. If I don’t eat enough for breakfast or lunch then I have a lot of evening cravings.

It’s all very interesting.

It’s time we make friends with our cravings and learn what they really mean. Embrace them and thank them for the great information.

Decipher Your Cravings

  • Chocolate cravings actually indicate a magnesium craving, especially if you’re also feeling high stress and have tense muscles.
  • Salt cravings indicate a real craving for salt. Usually due to high stress and/or low blood pressure. Enjoy sea salt on healthy foods, unless your doctor has advised otherwise.
  • Sugar cravings indicate a blood sugar crash; notice what you ate earlier as it probably caused your blood sugar crash.
  • Evening cravings occur because this is when your willpower is low and your body will attempt to correct an imbalance. Not enough healthy starchy foods or not eating enough throughout the day can be culprits. Low mood/depression can also be a trigger.
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