We all think cravings are a sign of weakness, but the lesson here is to look for food and behaviors in your life that are underlying causes of your cravings. They are messages to your imbalances so don't ignore it. We blame a failed diet and not keeping cravings under control on our will power and lack of self discipline but actually this could not be further from the truth. This way of thinking keeps us in a constant state of self beat down. We get down ourselves losing motivation and feeling like a complete failure. Then we deprive ourselves and totally fall off the wagon by going on a binge leaving us feeling guilty, worthless and like crap both physically and mentally. Have you been there?
Instead pause, take a deep breath, check in with your body for a minute and then ask yourself -
"What is motivating my cravings? What is really going on here? Is this just a bad habit I have developed? Do I really want this? Am I hungry? Am I looking for a mood boost, a burst of energy or maybe some comfort? Am I bored or restless? Am I just tired?"
Become aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Cravings are simply your body's way of trying to create balance.
"Cravings are the body's solution to underlying imbalances and food becomes a kind of medicine to regulate our current inner state."
Stay away from white sugar. Add in more corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or yams. Add in natural sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, or organic pure maple syrup. Make sure you eat more consistently throughout the day & get in enough of the right types of calories to keep your defenses up. High quality calories are the only thing that really provides energy so eat them consistently, in the form of whole foods. Eating more raw foods and drinking more water will cause the cravings to go away as well.
Ask yourself if you have been eating an excessive amount of salty foods or flour products. Do you feel dry or tight? Are you thirsty? Many physical problems including cravings, headaches, kidney stones, urology problems, being tired and having no energy all are simply signs of needing more water.
emotions Maybe we are looking for excitement in our lives or for comfort after a stressful situation. Then it is not about the food, but instead about the emotion it creates. Maybe you are bored. Don't let your emotions encourage what you put into your body! "Food can fill you but not fulfill you!"
Cravings for salt often indicates a mineral deficiency. Again, dding leafy greens with high minerals into your diet will help with salt cravings. Make sure to purchase high quality sea salt and incorporate into your cooking. Add sea vegetables when you can.
Try a bowl of noodles mixed with green vegetables and a nice marinara sauce with oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, onion, garlic and celery instead of the unhealthy choices of Mexican or Pizza. Use a variety of spices to add some kick into your healthy food.
Bitter foods enhance digestion, so a craving for bitter flavor may actually be a craving for more nutritious foods to get the digestive tract moving. Try eating more dark leafy greens to get things moving!
Start A Craving Inventory.For one week keep a journal of your cravings and rate the cravings on a scale of 1-10. Write down your thoughts next to each entry and decide is this an imbalance in my diet or in my life. The body doesn't make mistakes so listen to those cravings to help create homeostasis in your body and in your life. Learn how to tune in and deconstruct your cravings. ( source Integrative Nutrition Joshua Rosenthal)