Are you someone who craves a particular type of food or flavor all of the time? Or are there weeks when you can’t get enough sweets? Or maybe it’s salt?
Most people have food cravings and some people more than others. Food cravings are our bodies’ way of telling us that something is off balance. Some food cravings can be related to emotional challenges, stress, or just habit, while others indicate some sort of nutrient deficiency. Of course, that means it helps to know what those cravings mean so you can take care of them appropriately instead eating a king size candy bar or a big bag of potato chips.
Below you will find a list of the most common food cravings, the cause, and a tip or two to crush those cravings.
Craving: Sweets - The most common reasons people crave sweets are sleep deprivation and blood sugar imbalances. Your body knows sweets provide it with quick, fast, easily digestible energy. The only problem is they burn off quickly and you’re left feeling even more tired than before. Having a lot of sugar or having sugar for the first time in a while can throw your blood sugar off balance for a whole week and cause major cravings!
What to do: Focus on getting more sleep that week. And cut the sugar cold turkey! If you can’t resist the sweet craving at all try dried fruit (with no sugar added) and put cinnamon on everything it naturally balances your blood sugar!
Craving: Crunchy - When we are frustrated, irritated or experiencing a lot of stress we want to chew on something! Yes, this includes popcorn!
What to do: De-Stress!! Take a moment to relax. Do a 5-10 minute meditation or get some exercise that day. Or choose healthy crunchy food options: Nuts, carrots, celery, or apples.
Craving: Creamy - Anxiety and worry cause you to crave creamy foods. Many of which are comfort foods. Your body is craving both high fat and high carb foods at the same time.
What to do: Instead of reaching for the carton of ice cream, try something relaxing, hot shower, massage, relaxing music, or do something that makes you laugh, like watching a funny movie.
Craving: Caffeine - If you’re craving caffeine your body could be dehydrated. When we are dehydrated we lose a lot of energy and then need to replace it with artificial energy, i.e. caffeine. An emotional reason to desire caffeine is being dissatisfied with work.
What to do: Drink lots of water! Hydrate yourself as much as possible. And if you’ve slept enough and are drinking enough water. Evaluate what your job situation!
Craving: Carbohydrates - Similar to sweets, craving carbohydrates indicates that your body is experience fluctuations in blood sugar or dehydration, both of which can make your energy levels drop significantly. Your body is looking for an energy spike from easy to digest carbohydrates.
What to do: Balance your blood sugar with lean protein and vegetables especially leafy greens. Like you would do for sweets, cinnamon is a great way to stabilize your blood sugar.
Craving: Chocolate - Craving chocolate can indicate a magnesium deficiency since chocolate is loaded with magnesium. It can also be a result of emotional eating from stress or sadness, since chocolate provides the body with endorphins or “happy chemicals”.
What to do: Eat foods high in magnesium, like dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, soybeans, avocado, or banana. If you’re going to choose chocolate choose the darkest, purest chocolate available (avoid the added sugar and milk).
Craving: Salt - There are a lot of reasons you might be craving salt. Salt cravings have been linked to hormone imbalances, low levels of electrolytes, stress, and dehydration.
What to do: Eat foods that contain sea-salt rather than regular table salt and foods that contain Vitamin B like fish, yogurt, eggs and whole grains.
Craving: Fried/Oily Foods or Cheese - When your body is craving cheese and other oily and fried foods your body is telling you it wants fat so it is deficient in essential fatty acids.
What to do: Eat foods that are rich in essential fatty acids like Omega-3s. Foods that contain high amounts of Omega-3s are fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and brussel sprouts.
Now you've got a place to start! Pay close attention this week to what you’re craving. Notice the time of day, what you ate before hand, and how you feel before and after you eat certain foods, including your emotions. When you have a craving take a look at this list and see what you can eat instead!
You have exactly what it takes to crush those cravings, once and for all!
If you need support, ideas, feel free to reach out! Leave a comment or email us!