What to Do When You Have Cravings
Cravings. They're really not a good or bad thing; they’re simply a message from our bodies. They are a signal telling us we need to fuel our superpowers accordingly. We should listen to our cravings, rather than get upset at them. To mindfully navigate through cravings, it’s helpful to acknowledge them as they arise, explore their origins in a non-judgemental manner, and proceed from a place of empowerment.
Next time you have a craving, ask yourself these five questions:
1. Am I getting all of the nutrients I need?
Cravings can be a result of nutritional deficiencies. If you’re constantly having cravings, this could mean that your body is searching for a certain nutrient. If you think this may be the case, be sure to get a blood test. Make an effort to eat a variety of nutrient dense foods as well, so that your body’s nutrient requirements are always satisfied.
2. Am I eating whole foods?
Choosing whole foods over processed is extremely important because processed foods are actually manufactured to be addictive! Researchers, engineers, and even statisticians are hired by food companies to create a “bliss point” in food products. This is the perfect combination of sugar, salt, and fat that makes processed foods difficult to resist. Adding more whole foods into your diet will retrain your palate so that you can enjoy non-addictive foods from a place of mindfulness.
3. Did I drink enough water today?
When dehydrated, it’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger. Tune into your body to identify if you’re really craving food or if you simply need to rehydrate. It can even help to drink a glass of water before reaching for that food you may be craving. Make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes as well! Coconut water is a great source of natural electrolytes.
4. Am I eating seasonally?
Eating with the seasons is extremely nourishing. On a hot summer’s day, it’s natural to gravitate toward more cooling foods such as fruit and fresh salads. When it gets cold outside, root vegetables and hot soups are a more suitable choice. You may not necessarily be seeking specific nutrients when having cravings; your body may be looking for foods that bring it more in alignment with nature and in balance with the weather.
If you’re still having cravings even though you’ve asked yourself the questions above and feel that you’re properly nourished through food, ask yourself this final question:
5. Is it really food that I’m craving? Or do I need some other form of nourishment?
Nourishment comes from sources other than food. It can be easy to use food as a source of comfort or entertainment when you're really craving something else in your life. Asking myself this final question made a huge difference in my journey! I used to get cravings after dinner, but I then realized that I really wanted more music in my life! I grew up with music and completely stopped playing my instrument when I got busy at business school. Music is an important form of nourishment for me, so bringing it back into my life made such a difference. Explore this idea. What are you really craving? Are you craving meaningful connection? Try calling a friend or spending time with a loved one. Are you craving creativity? Play an instrument or create some art. Are you craving movement? Go for a walk, or do some yoga. Are you craving more purpose in your work? Ask for a new assignment at work or start a passion project on the side! Maybe you’re simply craving rest and rejuvenation? Get to bed early, get a massage, or make some time to meditate.
Remember, cravings are natural! Having cravings means that your body works perfectly. Cravings are our bodies' way of telling us important messages. So listen to your cravings, and love them! They are doing you a favour! They're telling you how to nourish yourself so you can be the absolute best version of yourself and live life your dreams every single day.
How do you navigate your cravings? If you have any more tips or experiences you’d like to share, please leave a comment below!
Lots of love,