Why you should stop trying to fight away your cravings, and what to do instead

Confession time.

Do you ever find yourself craving something so hard, giving in, and thinking - why do I even try to be healthy when my body just sabotages me?!

Before I started eating veggie-packed meals, I used to crave ice-cream hard. It was so frustrating. And every time I gave in, I became less motivated to eat "healthy". As if it could only be one or the other (more on that later).

I still have cravings every now and then, but not nearly as often, and I don't get stressed about them anymore - I embrace them.

Wanna know the secret?

Our cravings happen for a reason. We just need to listen and respond correctly, not try to fight them. 

It's OK to crave! It's our body's only way of telling us it NEEDS something.

Cravings happen when your body needs nourishment that you aren’t giving it.  
Top 4 causes: 

  1. An imbalanced diet causes you to yoyo.  Too many salty/heavy foods can cause cravings for sweet foods. Too many sweet foods can cause cravings for salty foods. 
  2. Nutritional deficiencies, caused by eating empty calories, cause your body to crave weird things in an effort to get the nutrients it needs. 
  3. Dehydration signals from the body are often mistaken for a need to snack. But you are thirsty, not hungry. For reals.
  4. Lack of emotional, intellectual, sleep, and exercise nourishment can leave you jonesing for a bowl of ice cream. Stress, job dissatisfaction, lack of satisfying relationships, lack of quality time with the ones you love, lack of sleep - these all triggers. (My job hours were crazy and my new hub worked some evenings - helloooo tub of chocolate oreo)

So, when you crave something, think back to what you've been eating lately. Has it been lots of the same type of food? Have you been eating more empty calories than normal? How much water have you been drinking? Do you really just need a hug, or a walk, or a yoga session, or a coffee date, or a solid night of sleep?
 

TAKE ACTION 

  1. Nurture your emotional health. Schedule quality time with the ones you love, take long walks outdoors, hug someone everyday, pick up a new hobby or look for a new job - seriously. Do work that something - day job or otherwise - that drives you to be the person you know you are.
  2. Drink more room temperature water. Your first response to a craving should always be a tall glass of water.  Why room temp? Too much cold water can cause a craving for something warm, and vice versa.
  3. Load up your meals with veggies, and nutrient dense, middle of the spectrum foods.  Dark leafy greens like kale, chard, spinach, broccoli. Healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olives. Naturally sweet veggies like sweet potatoes, parsnips, and beets, and strong veggies like radishes. Eating in the middle of the salty/sweet spectrum will reduce swing cravings. And eating nutrient dense foods will reduce deficiency based cravings.

Can you relate? Do you have cravings, and now have a better idea of what might be triggering them? I'd love to hear in the comments. 

And if you need help eating  energizing, veggie loaded meals everyday that will make you feel awesome so you can do your wonderful work in the world, check out our meal plan subscriptions or try a week for free!