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Deconstructing Cravings

If I don’t have chocolate this second, I might die.  Sound familiar?  Cravings can come on strong and with a vengeance! 

Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist us in maintaining balance.  Our bodies are SMART!  These cravings are no accident. 

Think about it?  We instinctively know when to go to sleep, and when to wake up.  Our body maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees, our heart never missing a beat and our lungs always breathing. 

Instead of beating ourselves up for craving certain foods, we must learn to deconstruct it.  Understand what your body wants and why?

Below are some of the primary causes of those crazyyy cravings:

  1. Primary Food Imbalance- Sometimes we are fed not by food, but by the energy in our lives.  This “emotional food,” if you will, is what we refer to as Primary Food.  If our primary food is imbalanced, eating can be used as a substitute to fill any of these voids.  Being dissatisfied in a relationship, stressed at work, bored with your daily activity, etc. may all cause emotional eating and cravings.
  2. Hydration- We often confuse a lack of water, as mild hunger.  As soon as a craving hits, try drinking a full glass of water.  You may surprise yourself and find that the craving no longer persists.
  3. Nutrient Imbalance- Inadequate nutrients often produce strong cravings.  If your diet is lacking in any particular nutrient (i.e. protein, fiber, fat, etc.) this deficiency can cause unique cravings.  Diminished nutrients can cause cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, such as caffeine and sugar
  4. Food Extremes- If your diet or meal consists of an abundance of foods/beverages on one side of the flavor spectrum, you often experience cravings for the exact opposite, soon after.  For example, if you eat a large portion of excessively salty foods, you will most likely soon crave sweets due to this flavor imbalance. 
  5. Hormonal- If it’s that time of the month, in addition to sometimes acting like a raging lunatic (GUILTY), cravings may be increasingly heightened particularly for sweet and/or salty foods
  6. Habit- This seems the most basic but is sometimes not the most obvious.  If we follow every dinner with a sweet treat (even small), our dinners begin to feel incomplete without dessert, causing habitual cravings. 
  7. Self Sabotage- This craving cause goes beyond food and originates within our psyche.  When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome occurs. We crave foods that throw us off and thwart all of our hard nutritional work. 

 Now that you are aware of these primary causes, when a craving strikes, take a second and try to decode the real reason behind your dire “need” for chocolate.