We all have that one friend who craves — actually yearns for and wants — fruits, veggies and whole grains, while we're over here secretly craving pizza. If you can't stop craving sugars, sweets and fatty foods, check out this simple explanation below from Mind Body Green.
Food cravings can indicate many things, some as simple as hunger or thirst. But they can also be a sign of something deeper. If your diet is lacking in nutrients, for example, you might crave foods that replenish those vitamins and minerals.
Food cravings can indicate that you're not feeling emotionally supported, and you what you might need is acceptance, pleasure or love. Cravings can also be sensory-driven, creating intense urges for a physical sensation such as crunchiness, or cold, for example.
When your body tells you need water, fruit, greens, or freshly cooked grains, heed these messages! Your body is telling you to find nourishment and sustenance. But if you're constantly feeling the need for sugary, salty and fatty foods, read on to learn the how and why of these frustrating cravings — and how to deal with them healthfully!
Where do cravings come from?A high calorie, low nutrient-dense diet based on processed foods doesn't allow your body to get the proper nutrition it needs. An unbalanced diet like this can cause hormonal and blood sugar fluctuations, which leave us feeling deprived. Many of our cravings are for processed foods (made of processed oils, sugars, salt and chemicals), which send messages to our brain leading to addiction of sugary and salty foods.
Rather than thinking about how to cure food cravings, think instead about how to really nourish your body. Unconsciously we associate “good feelings” with food. As a child, you were probably rewarded with food. Be a good girl and you’ll get a cookie! So we're lead to believe that it’s OK to “treat” ourselves with junk food as adults. This unconsciously leads us to react in unhealthy eating patterns. Advertising tells us we’ll be sexy, rich and happy if we consume their sugary, salty snacks. Unless we’re thinking critically about these deceptive ads, we begin to buy into the notion that unhealthy food will make us feel good. And while junk can make us feel good in the moment, these foods do not nourish our bodies and can have hurt our health.
How can you put an end to cravings? When a craving rears its ugly head, here are questions to ask yourself (These can be posted on your fridge or cabinet door to help you every time a craving strikes):
What is my hunger level? On a scale of one to 10, ask yourself how hungry you really are. You can do this simply by paying attention to physical sensations you feel in your body that are letting you know if you’re body needs food… or something else entirely.
What have I eaten today? Consider what you’ve already consumed and how much. Think about protein, carbohydrates, fats, hydration, etc. Try to learn about what your body might be lacking and try to fulfill that deficiency first.
Want to read more? Check out the original story from Mind Body Green.