THE BODY IS TRULY AMAZING.
It knows when to go to sleep, when to wake up, and when to go to the bathroom.
- It maintains a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit)
- repairs itself when wounded
- knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth.
- Your heart never misses a beat.
- Your lungs are always breathing.
The body is a super computer, and it never makes mistakes. If you just stop and think about it, we are truly a walking miracle.
So, what does this have to do with cravings and why do we crave foods may not be so good for us?
Cravings, by definition is a powerful desire for something. We’ve all experienced cravings, but we should be careful about the way in which we satisfy them. By understanding what your body is actually deficient in (assuming it is a physical, not an emotional one) you can get to the root cause of the cravings, and eventually kick them all together.
Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance. When you experience a craving, deconstruct it. Ask yourself, what does my body want and why?
EIGHT CAUSES OF CRAVINGS ARE:
- LACK OF PRIMARY ( SOUL) FOOD– Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of primary food.
- WATER– Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced.
- YIN-YANG IMBALANCE– . Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive), while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vice versa.
- INSIDE COMING OUT– Often times, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.
- SEASONAL- Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods, and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions, and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil, and fat. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, puddings, or Easter eggs.
- LACK OF NUTRIENTS– If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine or sugar. Refer to the chart below.
- HORMONAL– When women experience menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.
- DE-EVOLUTION – When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings.
If you often feel ‘snacky’, sometimes for sweets, sometimes for salty foods, it can mean you’re not eating a well-balanced diet and may be missing a variety of nutrients.
Reaching for junk foods or heavy foods at the onset of cravings will only satisfy them temporarily, then cause blood sugar imbalance and more. Making dietary changes that address deficiencies or imbalances can help eliminate them altogether.
Have a look at this chart, for alternative foods choices, that will be better for you instead of giving in to your ‘not so good’ cravings.
Having some knowledge about what our cravings can mean, may help us to reduce unhealthy habits and poor food choices.
If you want more guidance in this area or with any health goals, contact me below, for a FREE initial coaching session and discover how health coaching can truly change the way your eat, move, play and sleep!
The eight causes of cravings –© Institute for Integrative Nutrition | Used with permission