9 Causes of Cravings

female-detectiveThere could be a PLETHORA of reasons why your body’s calling out for certain foods. Before you start blaming yourself, beating yourself up, or trying out “trick” your body out of what it’s calling out for, I challenge you to do get your Sherlock Holmes hat on, and do some investinatin’.

Here are the 9 most common reasons for cravings I see in my practice:
1. Is the food you’re craving particularly rich in certain vitamins or minerals that your diet might be lacking?  For example, women tend to crave chocolate just before and during their periods.  Anecdotal?  I think not!  Don’t forget that chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium… 2 VITAL nutrients that we are losing during “that time o’ the month”.

2. Are you getting your all your “building blocks” through your foods?  If you’re eating packaged foods, microwave foods, low-fat/fat-free or canned foods – you will need a LOT MORE volume to get the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly.
I like to use the “brick and mortar” analogy (the 2 things essential in building a foundation, for example).  I call mactonutrients such as fat, protein and carbohydrates, “bricks”.  The “mortar” are your micronutrients, your vitamins and minerals.  If your body is getting too many “bricks”, but not enough “mortar” (since “mortar” is easily damaged and killed off in processing), then the body will store the “bricks” (in fat) and ask for more “mortar” (food).  So you might not have an “insatiable appetite”, your body might just be calling out for more nutrients!
Once I get clients eating micronutrient dense foods, and taking proper supplements, they often report that their meals have been shrinking, they haven’t been snacking, or that their cravings have “disappeared”…  all without consciously trying!

3. Are you eating too many salty or sodium rich foods because if so… your body will only NATURALLY ask for sweet and sugary treats to balance out.

4. Are you keeping cool and hydrated with plenty of water, and water dense veggies, especially in hot, summer weather?   If not, your body might be asking for cooling foods, such as ice cream, to cool down.

5. Are you getting the love and affection that you need?  The act of touching, hugging or kissing brings down cortisol levels, and increases feed good chemicals in the brain.  If we’re affection starved, we might be seeking that feel good high through food instead.  It’s only chemical ;)

6. Are you just thirsty?  Did you know that mild thirst can actually manifest itself as hunger?  Next time you’re rummaging for a snack, have a glass of water instead.  Give it a few minutes, and see what happens to your cravings.

7. Appletinis galore last night?  Ooooh yeah.. big one.  Alcohol is a double whammy: Not only will your body be seeking out the same “sugar high” that it got from the drinks last night, but… it will also ask for even MORE sugar or carbs for that “pick me up” energy boost that’s so desperately needed after a night of drinking.

8. Memories… sweet memories.  Sometimes, certain people, situations, or events trigger cravings.  For example, if there’s a memory that comes with food attached (like having fresh baked cookies every time you visited grandma’s house), then you might get a craving for a cookie when you remember grandma, or when you get a little homesick.

9. SUGAR!  Eeep, so many of us these days are HIGHLY hooked on the “white stuff”, and we don’t even know it!  “Oh but I don’t eat sugar” I hear ALL the time… oh yeah?  But do you eat microwavable “lean” meals, cereals, energy bars or soft drinks (even diet)?  If so, the sugar (or it’s chemical, calorie free cousins), so cleverly disguised under even “health” labels, might just be the “hook” that keeps you coming back for more and more…  If you suspect sugar is your “kick”, then you and I have TONS to talk about ;) shoot me a line.

Remember… the body is the most AMAZING super computer, and it rarely makes mistakes.  “Tune in”, ask yourself “What am I craving, and why?” and you might JUST uncover a new and better way to your health & weight loss goals ;)

See you on the Skinny Path!

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