Whether it’s salt, sugar, or fat, we all have cravings from time-to-time, and cravings often come about because there is something the body feels it is missing. Cravings can sometimes be caused by:
1. Stress – Stressful job. Bad relationship. Whatever it is, sometimes it’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you!Try to sort out what’s troubling you. Journaling can sometimes help.
2. Dehydration – When you feel a craving coming on, drink a glass of water before you reach for that candy bar or bag of chips. Often we confuse thirst and hunger, and we reach for food when what we really need is to rehydrate.
3. The seasons – Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. Spring is when we reach for lots of healthy fruits and salads, in summer, we crave things that cool us off, fall brings a craving for ground foods like squash, onions, and nuts, and winter is all about comfort foods!
4. Hormones – And no, I don’t just mean PMS! Men can experience hormonal cravings as well from fluctuating testosterone levels. Hormonal shifts such as menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and those fluctuating testosterone levels (in men) or estrogen levels (in women) may cause unique cravings.
5. Lack of nutrients- Sometimes our cravings are a sign that we are lacking certain nutrients. Be sure you are eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals.
So, what do our cravings mean? Below, I’ll help you deconstruct your cravings and give you some healthier alternatives. Enjoy!
Sweet/Sugar Cravings: Sugar cravings are sometimes the result of low blood sugar, or the need to reduce stress. For some, sugar cravings come from eating too much meat or too much salt! Adding in some whole grains like brown rice or root vegetables sometimes helps. And fruit is ALWAYS a good snack for those times when you need something sweet.
Salty Food Cravings: When you are craving salty foods it may be a mineral deficiency. But, If you have that crunchy, salty 3 pm snack attack, ask yourself if you’re angry. Sometimes anger, a stressful day at work, or a fight with your boss, can cause you to want something crunchy. Try some raw veggies and hummus or sweet potato chips; a much healthier alternative to that bag of Doritos.
Spicy Cravings: Are your feet and/or hands cold? Do you feel like you’re in a rut? Spicy foods make us think of warmth and excitement! The good news is that some research has shown that spicy food can help rev up your metabolism. Try a spicy soup, pasta with marinara sauce, or some spicy Mexican or Thai food. Spicy food will get your circulation and your spirits going!
Creamy and Cold Food Cravings: These cravings are all about wanting comfort, especially if you are depressed. It is no accident that you see the stereotypical brokenhearted woman diving into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. This is the perfect time to find comfort with good friends, get a hug from someone you love, or pop in a comedy DVD to help you laugh. If you truly need a food item to cheer you up, try a creamy, cold protein smoothie, or a scoop of frozen yogurt.
Chocolate Cravings: For some, chocolate actually IS pure love! Most chocolate addicts are addicted to the theobromine in chocolate that makes us feel like we are in love! And women with PMS usually crave chocolate due to its high magnesium content. So go ahead and indulge…a little! Try to stick to a good-quality dark chocolate, and enjoy in moderation.
Want to know more about YOUR individual cravings? Schedule your free “Healthiest Hour of Your Life” consultation. Evening, weekend, and phone consultations are available. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on your journey to health and wellness!
And until next time…veg in, don’t veg out!
Through unique individual, group, and corporate programs, it is my mission to be your partner in helping you reach your health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. Want to know more? Visit my website at http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com.
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