Many people view cravings as weaknesses, but often, they’re important messages from your body to guide you in maintaining balance.
Your body is constantly processing information and monitoring your environment to make necessary internal adjustments to help keep you balanced.
1. Lack of Primary Food:
Being dissatisfied with a relationship, lack or too much physical activity, being bored, stressed or uninspired can lead us to look for the relief, or escape food can provide.
Staying hydrated is a great way to help reduce extreme cravings and may ultimately help regulate the amount eaten to match needs more closely. We also tend to confuse thirst with hunger.
3. Inside Coming Out:
Cravings often come from foods you’ve recently eaten, these foods tend to be fresh in your mind, so we’re more likely to crave it in an attempt to re-create a positive eating experience. Similarly, when you crave foods from your childhood, you may really be seeking the feeling of comfort those foods may have provided when we were younger.
The body often craves foods in accordance with the season. In the spring, people crave lighter foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods, like raw foods and ice cream. In the fall, people tend to crave grounding foods, like squash, onions, and nuts, and many crave heat-producing foods, like oil, and fat, in the winter. Cravings can also be associated with seasonal holidays (Eg. Christmas cookies).
5. Lack of Nutrients:
If the body has inadequate nutrients, it might produce odd cravings. An extreme example of this is a disorder called pica, which leads to extreme cravings of nonfood items, like clay. This condition may arise due to a chronic iron deficiency.
When women experience menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings. Stress has also been shown to alter hormones in order to promote cravings.
Gaining deeper understanding of how cravings work allows you to mindfully respond to your bio-individual cravings.
Having cravings isn’t a bad thing. In fact, they are sometimes a good indication that you’re not getting the nourishment you’re seeking, which may not have anything to do with food!
1. ACKNOWLEDGE THE CRAVINGS
Acknowledge them and give them space. When you make foods you want off-limits, it usually has the opposite effect. Rather than leading you to forget the “off-limit” foods, you end up preoccupied and less equipped to control yourself when you’re around them.
The simple act may help reduce its power and allow you to dissociate from it.
2. EXPLORE THE ORIGIN WITH NONJUDGMENTAL CURIOSITY
• Is this craving occurring alongside a particular emotion or physical feeling?
• Is this craving for a highly palatable food?
• Is this craving tied to a habit?
• Is this craving guiding me toward a food that would support my health or well-being?
3. PROCEED FROM A PLACE OF EMPOWERMENT
Give yourself the power to dis-identify with it and determine how to proceed in a way that is best for you.
Whether food will ease that craving or if there's another form of nourishment your body is seeking, respect and acknowledge your bio-individual cravings as they vome up.
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