Food cravings can be a very serious thing which can sometimes control our lives. Of course however, there are varying degrees of food cravings from the “I wouldn’t mind a chocolate” to “If I don’t get a chocolate there will be hell to pay!” You can substitute the word chocolate for one of your most common cravings. Usually our willpower gets the blame for caving into our cravings. We blame ourselves rather harshly. But instead, we should be looking into why our bodies are craving things. Why do we want that bar of chocolate?
Well cravings are a lot different to hunger so when we are craving something, it doesn’t mean we are hungry. In fact often we are not hungry at all. How many times have we had a large dinner then feel like something sweet for desert even though we are full?
The difference between hunger and cravings are:
- Hunger – Originates from your stomach
- Cravings – Originates from your brain
Hunger is very generalized which basically means that you need to eat something. Cravings on the other hand are highly individualized. Here are some common food cravings and what they mean:
- Chocolate – One of the most common food cravings are for chocolate. It tastes delicious and depending on which chocolate you buy, it may be full or sugar. If you are craving chocolate, you might be deficient in magnesium. You could try adding some nuts, beans, seeds, raw cacao nibs or powder into your diet or go to your local health food store for a magnesium supplement.
- Cheese – Another common craving is cheese. This could mean your body needs more essential fatty acids. So instead of caving into your cheese craving, try adding foods high in omega 3’s such as flax oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds or some walnuts.
- White bread, pizza or pasta – Are you craving carbs? This could mean a chromium deficiency. Try adding more tomatoes, onions, grapes, apples, and sweet potatoes to your diet. In addition, try adding a little cinnamon into a tea.
- Salty Chips & Crisps – Perhaps your body is running low on chloride. Try adding into your diet – celery, olives, and tomatoes. For an extra boost, add a small amount of Himalayan salt and mix with some water.
Another alternative is to try and have a large glass of water and then waiting 10 minutes. Often this can actually help reduce/remove your craving. When we are dehydrated, our bodies tend to crave more foods and more strongly.
Here are some other reasons why you could be craving certain foods:
- Haven’t eaten all day? Sometimes when we go about our day and skip breakfast and/or lunch, our blood sugar drops which can lead to all sorts of cravings. If you don’t have time for breakfast, try weight loss shakes.
- Tired? This is a super common reason for your cravings to go wild. A lack of sleep or sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time can really set off cravings. Mainly sugar cravings. It’s a sign from your body you need more sleep and rest. Try and prioritize this.
- Bored? Are you at work and really don’t want to do a very boring task? Well you are not alone there. Being bored can often lead to cravings for coffee or sugar as you feel like you need these things to get though the task. Try instead to go for a quick walk or break. Often this can actually help.
- Stressed? In today’s day and age where stress is super common, cravings are getting just as common as a result. Try to do some deep breathing and slowing down a bit. Exercise more and go for a walk daily. Reducing your stress should also reduce your craving sweets.
The bottom line is, your body is trying to tell you something when you are craving sweets. Take the time to listen to your body and try some of the remedies above.