Food cravings. Everybody has them on occasion, and it’s easy to give in to the urge to satisfy in the moment. The trouble is that food cravings are usually for food that is awful for your body. It’s okay to reward yourself. Take time off for good behavior, if you will. Eating healthy isn’t a life sentence, it’s about lifestyle choices to give your body the best of what it needs to keep performing at an optimum level. Reward yourself, on occasion. If you find you are constantly giving into cravings, you’re probably misreading the signals. Let’s read the signals and define what they really mean.
See answers below.
Craving chocolate so much you’re ready to grab a handful of candy bars at checkout? It’s probably because you are low on magnesium. If it’s just chocolate you desire you may want to keep some pure cacao on hand. Since I started adding cacao to my morning coffee I’ve all but eliminated my desire for chocolate. Sugar is addictive. Once this pattern begins it is difficult to break.
If you crave baked goods like pies, cookies, and the like, it might be due to a lack of sleep. You are working too hard, and if your body isn’t getting the required amount of sleep, you need the quick burst of energy offered by carbs and sugar. If this is the case, you can solve your problem by knocking off a little early, or taking a nap after lunch. It’s okay if you fly trap in the parking lot after lunch.
Constantly in need of caffeine or soda? If you like fizzy sweetness when you’re reaching for caffeine, be careful. Over-reaching for carbonation will introduce phosphoric acid and may deplete magnesium from your bones, which will lead to other cravings and problems. Needing a java jolt in the morning, at mid-day, and in the afternoon is overdoing it just a touch. You’re probably deficient in sulfur, iron, or salt. Eat veggies like kale, cabbage, beans, legumes or spinach.
Salty & Fried Foods
Many times these go hand-in-hand. Grabbing a bag of chips could mean you’re stressed out. Take a chill pill by adding healthy fats like salmon, nuts, almonds, avocados, or olive oil. Maybe what you really want is a savory flavor. Adding dominant herbs like turmeric, rosemary, basil, cayenne, or paprika can help.
Some people “need” to chew ice. I used to love chewing on it as a kid. Seldom can I finish a glass of anything without crunching on the ice, and it might mean that you’re anemic. Try adding iron with beans, legumes, dried fruit. Grab a cup of ice and chow down for a temporary increase of blood flow to the brain.
If you’re hankering for a steak or a hamburger you might not be surprised to find you are low on iron. Instead of running for bar food and adding many other items on this list try some beans legumes, dried fruit, or seaweed.
Spicy Food Cravings
There’s a hypothesis that those craving spicy food need intense action in their lives. They are “on the go” kind of people who result in a dash of spice when they haven’t made time to meet this need.
Whether it’s bread or pasta people who crave carbs need comfort. Comfort food meets a psychological need during hard times. When life gets tough and you reach for carbs it’s like receiving a big hug. Physically you may need green leafy vegetables, cinnamon, grapes, or apples.
Quick Fixes & Solutions
Intense food cravings are often misinterpreted as hunger. For all cravings, try the 30-minute rule. Enjoy a glass of water and see if your craving still exists in a half an hour. Staying hydrated is essential. Get some electrolytes for a quick replenish, but be careful because many sports drinks also add dye and sugar. Coconut water is a good alternative. Just plain snacky all the time? It may be time for a small detox with kombucha or apple cider vinegar.
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