We can all relate to what it feels like to be able to think of nothing other than a frosted donut or a bowl
of ice-cream – and the feeling like we can’t possibly go on without it. We’ve all been there, right?
The flip side of this situation, though, is that there is far more going on inside of us than only wanting a donut. Cravings contain incredibly important messages that tell us a lot about ourselves and learning to crack the code is easier than you may think.
Here are a few types of cravings that you have experienced ...
Emotionally Charged Cravings.You may not struggle with it on a daily basis, but I’m certain
you’ve experienced emotional eating at some point in your life. If you’ve ever reached for your favorite
'comfort food’ (hint: that word alone describes emotional eating!) when you were feeling lonely or
sad, you have used food to feed your emotions. Take a moment to check in with yourself before a
meal -- ask yourself if you’re feeding hunger or emotions. It can be quite difficult to train yourself to
eat for nourishment only, but it can be done with practice!
Nutrient Deficiency Cravings. This one’s easy – if your body lacks certain nutrients, cravings will kick
in to provide what your body is lacking. So for example, craving chocolate may mean your
magnesium is low or craving cheese may indicate you are low in your essential fatty acids. Your
body knows just what it needs, and if it’s not getting that, it will tell you. You just have to listen, and
know what to “ listen” for.
There are a few things you can do to keep your cravings at bay.
* Make sure you are drinking enough water. Dehydration can be a trigger for cravings. Sleep. I know it can be difficult, but make it a priority to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Your body will function much more optimally when well rested, and you’ll be less likely to turn to caffeine or sugar for an energy boost.
* Check in with yourself before you eat and ask if you are actually hungry, or if you are eating out of boredom or habit.
* Put more whole foods into your diet and start cutting out processed foods.
* Keep a Food Journal for a week or two --jotting down what you eat, when, where you are and how
you were feeling. This will help show you patterns that you may not even realize yet.