Chocolate, sugar, chips, bread, crackers, French fries, ice cream, cheese – we all have had some sort of cravings at some point of life.
Cravings are attacking us literally the moment that we are most vulnerable in life. How many times it is all going well, you manage to have an overall healthy lifestyle and then… you have a bad night because your kid was sick… you have an urgent deadline at work… you had a nasty discussion with your partner… and suddenly it seems like a bar of chocolate is a good idea to help us. It really seems like a perfect pick-me-up!
However you certainly also know how do you feel afterwards – you feel low, sluggish, maybe even angry at yourself that you did not stop.
In order to deal with your cravings, it is important to understand them – it is important to understand that craving is a message that our body tries to send us for something that we need. It is important to deconstruct your cravings in order to deal with them.
Here I am listing 4 common causes of cravings for you to reflect if your craving might be caused by one of those:
- Dehydration – your body does not send the message that you are thirsty until you are at the very edge of dehydration. Keeping your water bottle handy all the times might just keep you away from you reaching for the next treat.
- Lifestyle – being dissatisfied with your life, work, relationships, being bored or stressed or just uninspired may all contribute to emotional eating. You know when you are emotional eater when you know exactly what do you want to eat – “I need this white chocolate with almonds now!” Key to deal with emotional eating is to be conscious about it and what might cause your emotional eating. Food journaling daily might be a solution as well!
- Seasonal – often our body craves foods that balance out the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions and nuts. In the winter many crave hot and heat producing foods like meat, oil and fat. These are evolutionary blueprints that are embedded in us and help our bodies to deal with the change of seasons.
- Lack of Nutrients – If the body is getting an inadequate amount of nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy like caffeine.
Of course there are several other causes of cravings that might be relevant in your situation! I invite you as first step to be conscious and try to find the cause of your craving in order to conquer it for good!