I feel like I’m a bit of a cravings expert. Mostly because I have lots of them. But I also understand, from talking to my clients, that cravings are the biggest thing that gets in the way of most people’s weight loss & health goals. And with the cravings often come emotions – feelings of guilt, inadequacy and even self loathing.
So, what makes us crave? Well, first of all, remember that our bodies are pretty clever things and tend to do everything for a reason. Breathing, heart beating, walking, digesting. These are all things that our bodies do often without any conscious thought. So there can be very rational, biological reasons for cravings. Sometimes signals get confused and we think we are hungry when really it’s thirst that’s the issue. Or, occasionally, if we are lacking in nutrients we might crave something specific like salt or a big green salad. And, as most women know, hormonal fluctuations can cause all sorts of weird cravings. I’m not 100% sure of the biological reason for that but maybe the chocolate we need is to give us an endorphin rush to make us feel better from all the cramping and bloating… food for thought.
But, more often than not cravings are based on emotions. We reach for chips when stressed, ice cream when sad, alcohol when lonely… the list goes on. Food becomes a (temporary) solution for the real problem. And often we never get to the bottom of the problem or really deal with the emotion.
A fantastic tip to deal with cravings is to set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes once the craving starts. And just wait it out. Often in those 20 minutes the craving will disappear. If it doesn’t, my challenge to you is to try and figure out why you are craving. Is it a truly biological craving or is there something missing in your life or emotions you are trying to deny?
What do you crave the most?