Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Written by By: Angie Andrade, co-founder of TotalBodyFit
Your body is trying to tell you something
The human body is an incredible work of art that when in tune it gives you cues to what it needs. One great way for you to get an answer to what your body wants and needs is through food cravings.
While many may see food cravings as a weakness that leads to sometimes bad food choices, they should be seen as a blessing to look deeper into more than just a strong affinity for devouring ice cream.
Here are reasons for cravings you may want to pay attention to:
Even so, that doesn’t mean you can’t implement tips and tricks to make achieving your goal weight a reality. If you do the research, there are a few ways to “hack the system” and make the challenge of losing weight easier. Take apple cider vinegar, for example.
1. Lack Of Primary Foods AKA Life Satisfaction: Sometimes we crave food based on lack of satisfaction in life. Whether this is a missing link in a relationship, a job you are not happy with or dealing with a lot of stress.
2. Dehydration: This can lead our bodies to overeat as it causes mild hunger. So, before you reach for a bag of chips try a glass of water to see if the craving subsides.
3. Food Balance Can Become Distorted: If you are having too many salty foods then your body will crave sweets and vice versa. The same goes for too many raw foods and craving deeply cooked meals.
4. Memories Of Childhood Meals: Whether it is your grandmother’s pasta or mom’s famous empanadas your body may want the comfort of those childhood foods and memories that come along with it. Try making a healthy version of these meals while adding your own unique touch and honoring your ancestors at the same time.
5. Seasonal Foods: These may get you to crave different foods like sorbet in the summer and soups in the winter. Don't forget to make healthy versions so you can still enjoy yourself.
6. Lacking Nutrients: This may have us reaching for poor sources of energy. For example, having unbalanced minerals may drive us into consuming salty foods. Having a lack of nutritional habits, in general, may make us look for energy with vast amounts of caffeine.
7. Self-Sabotage: This happens when you are eating as healthy as possible then begin to crave cheat-foods to throw us off. Making a list of the cheat foods we eat and researching substitutions will allow us to enjoy this process better. For example frozen cherries or grapes instead of ice cream.
8. Hormonal Issues: Things like menopause and even menstrual cycles can produce strong cravings to offset and balance out a surge in estrogen or testosterone levels. During the luteal cycle (after the egg is released) the estrogen levels are high. According to a study by Science Direct during this phase, women can increase their food intake by 500 calories.
The best way to minimize cravings is not only to find substitutions for our usual cheat-meals but also to keep track of utilizing a food diary. I recommend doing a 7-day food diary to track breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. After every meal write down how you are feeling (satisfied, grumpy, tired, etc). It’s also important to note your water intake. This practice can shine a light on what works for you and what doesn't in order to be more aware of your cravings.