What is your body trying to tell you?
We all experience cravings on a daily basis. At 10 am, that donut looks delicious. At 12 pm, that greasy slice of pizza seems irresistible. And so on. Every day we have to resist these insidious temptations and blame ourselves if we succumb to them. But what if I tell you that your body is trying to tell you something with these cravings? After all, our bodies are amazing bio-computers that never make mistakes.
Look at the forest, not the tree
Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, uninspired by your job, or lacking a spiritual practice, may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of primary food.
Lack of water can send the message that you’re thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is to drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well-balanced.
Yin-Yang Imbalance. No, it’s not Chinese
Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive), while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa.
Old Habits Die Hard
Often times, cravings come from foods we’ve recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.
Tis The Season
Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens and citrus. In the summer, we crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods, and ice cream, and in the fall we crave grounding foods like squash, onions, and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil, and fat.
Lack of Nutrients
If the body has inadequate nutrients, you’ll have odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.
Hormonal. It’s here, too
When women experience menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.
Angel vs. Devil
When things are going extremely well in your life, sometimes self-sabotage happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings.
Stay tuned for my post on how to beat those cravings!