Your body is intelligent. It is always there for you, pumping blood, digesting whatever food you put in it and maintaining homeostasis. Is this reliable, intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving potato chips, a hamburger or chocolate? Are cravings just an opportunity to exercise “will-power” or discipline?
Maybe cravings are something else. I believe that cravings are actually critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.
Unraveling the Craving
There is a reason for your craving. The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave. Only then can you address it in an intelligent way that benefits your body. Here are two main possibilities – physical or environmental. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving.
Perhaps your diet is too restrictive or devoid of essential nutrients. A person on a vegan or vegetarian diet for several years may suddenly find themselves craving a hamburger or some other animal food they have sworn off. Maybe their body is just remembering the flavor of meat, or it’s possible that they are actually becoming deficient in B-12, or some other nutrient. A woman craving potato chips may just love the crunch and salty taste, or she may actually be low in sodium (true story.)
Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that has become boring or stressful. An individual craving sweets could need more protein, more exercise, more water, or more love in their life. Craving the smooth, creamy sweetness of chocolate pudding? Maybe you just need a hug.
The key to stopping cravings is to understand and deliver what your body really needs. No book or theory can tell you what to eat. Only awareness of your body and its needs can tell you. This is the foundation of my holistic health coaching practice – helping women listen intelligently to their bodies and learn how to give it what it really needs to be healthy and full of energy.
Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love and time to cultivate a good and healthy relationship with your body. As you learn to decipher and respond to your body’s cravings, you will create a deep and lasting level of health and balance.
Handling the Craving
The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:
- Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. Cravings due to bad eating habits usually disappear after 15 minutes.
- Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit or sweet root vegetables for lunch or dinner.
- What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving?
- If you decide to eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; then notice its effect. This will enable you to become more aware and free to decide if it’s what your body really needs next time.
Do you struggle with food cravings? Get the support you need to create healthy eating habits. Contact me today for a free 50-minute Health Consultation.