What Are Your Cravings Really Telling You?

Let's stop and think about, for a moment, how awesome our bodies really are. It is always there for you, pumping blood, never skipping a heartbeat, digesting whatever food you put in it and maintaining homeostasis. Is this reliable, intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving ice cream or a hamburger or chocolate? Maybe not...

Are cravings caused by a lack of will-power or discipline? They might not be as bad as what you think. Cravings can be critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs. The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave (and pay better attention!) It's possible that your diet is too restrictive or lacking essential nutrients. Maybe you're living a lifestyle that is too stressful or not fulfilling enough for you.

Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs. No diet book or facebook article is going to be the winning idea of what you really need. Tuning in more and becoming aware of your own needs will help.

Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love and time to create that relationship. As you learn to discern and respond to your body’s cravings, you can create the balance you are looking for. 

The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:

  1. Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
  2. Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit and sweet or root vegetables.
  3. What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving?
  4. When you eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; notice its effect. Then you will become more aware and free to decide if you really want it next time.
  5. Move on. Enjoy what you are choosing to eat (consciously and mindfully) and then move onto something else.