By: Rachel Nannola
I’ve never met a person who doesn’t deal with the occasional craving. Cravings can happen at all times of the day and can stem from much more than seeing a box of doughnuts in the office or walking past the vending machine. In just a few seconds, you can go from not being hungry to feeling like you need the doughnut. So why do we get cravings, and what do they mean?
There are tons of different reasons behind our cravings, so let’s talk about a few of them:
- Boredom- if you’re bored, this might cause you to want to fill that boredom with eating. So if you’re bored, try getting up and going for a walk or reading a book instead. That will help alleviate your boredom and, most likely, your craving to eat.
- Thirst- sometimes, when we feel hungry, we’re really just dehydrated. So next time, before you eat something, drink a glass of water instead, and wait to see if your hunger goes away.
- Blood Sugar Levels- our blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day as we eat and digest. When our blood sugar gets low, it can cause us to think we need to replenish it with sugar. Doing so would only feed into the sugar addiction and result in more cravings. Instead of eating something sugary, try eating sweet fruits or berries.
- Deficiencies- being deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral can cause cravings. For example:
- Craving chocolate could be due to a magnesium deficiency; instead of chocolate, try mixed nuts, a banana, or leafy greens.
- Craving fat (i.e. fried food) could be due to an omega 3 deficiency; instead, try incorporating some healthier fats like avocados or nuts.
- Craving salty foods could be due to an iron deficiency; instead, try eating some white beans, lentils, or spinach.
A good thing to remember with cravings is that if you are really craving a food item, it won’t hurt to allow yourself to indulge in a craving every once in a while. Use the above tricks if you’re dealing with daily cravings, and, hopefully, in time, your cravings won’t happen so often! But when they do, you can indulge and enjoy!