What Your Body is Trying to Tell You
Many people believe cravings are a sign of weakness, and often times feel guilty and flawed when they “give in” to their cravings. First off, this is bogus thinking and if you fall into this pattern you need to understand that cravings are not the problem. Nor are you. Your body is an amazing machine that only wants the best for you; the last thing it wants to do is make you feel bad.
Cravings are the body’s solution to underlying imbalances, and food becomes a form of medicine to regulate its state.
There are several things that can cause food cravings: dehydration, lifestyle, lack of nutrients, seasonal changes, emotional needs, and/or hormones. People can develop cravings for different flavors and textures. Some of the common flavors we tend to crave are sugar, salt and dairy. Textures and consistencies, such as crunchy foods or rich creamy foods, are also high on the cravings list. Often times cravings occur because of our lifestyle. For example, when we miss meals and are starving, we tend to overeat. When we don’t sleep well, we may wake up and crave coffee. Or if we are not drinking enough water, we might begin to crave salt.
Learning to understand your cravings is a great place to start bringing balance to your body. The next time your body is craving something, and before you impulsively reach for something you know isn’t good for you, take a moment to stop and think about what is really going on. Consider what your body is asking for…start with the flavor. You can deconstruct the craving and make a better choice.
Below is Dr. Annemarie Colbin’s, Ph.D., chart of “Common Cravings and How to Deal with Them.” Colbin was one of my teachers from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and is the founder of The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts and an author and lecturer on natural health & holistic medicine.
Click on chart to make bigger.