What Different Types Of Cravings Are Really Telling You (and how to get past them)
Cravings are something everyone can relate to. Everyone knows that intense and persistent feeling of wanting to eat a particular food. This is the bane of anyone who wants to control their appetite and calorie intake. This is also one of the most challenging events in trying to manage and lose weight.
What Triggers Cravings
Understanding cravings is the most important step to managing cravings. The two most important key factors that induce cravings are hydration status and sleep.
Dehydration is the most potent trigger of cravings. Even if a person is not hungry, intense cravings develop in the presence of dehydration. This is almost always the reason for cravings in between meals or right after a meal.
Sleep is another key trigger. The production of the hormone ghrelin increases if the body does not get enough rest. Ghrelin is a hormone that induces hunger pangs. Most often, ghrelin stimulates cravings for sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods.
Different types of cravings
There are several types of cravings. The three most common ones are nutrient cravings, emotional cravings, and balance cravings.
These are cravings that the body experiences when it lacks a particular nutrient. For example, if the body is low in energy, it will crave for foods that provide quick energy such as sweets and high-carbohydrate foods.
At some point in a woman’s menstrual cycle, cravings for chocolates are fairly common. Raw chocolate contains large amounts of magnesium. This nutrient is needed in larger amounts during menstruation.
This type is also called supportive cravings. The body craves or looks for foods that contain the nutrients it needs to heal or improve in function.
For example, some people crave for citrus fruits when they have the flu or colds. Citrus fruits are abundant in vitamin C, which will boost immune action to help recover from the infection.
Cravings are also triggered by emotions. This is another common craving type. People often turn to food for comfort, a sense of comfort and a feeling of well-being.
This can also be considered as dispersive cravings. This type is the body’s response to diminish or drain energy. Emotions can increase the body’s energy levels, placing it in a high-stress level.
In an attempt to lower the stress, the body seeks to remove some of the emotional energy by eating energy-draining foods. Examples are sugars and junk foods, which generally drain energy when eaten in excess.
This type develops when the body strives to restore balance. For example, after eating too many sweets, the body typically craves for salty foods. This is an intrinsic response that attempts to restore homeostasis.
Ways to get past cravings
Learning to control the different types of cravings can be as simple as the following:
Drink water to deal with hydration issues. If cravings persist, then it is likely to be real hunger.
Try distracting yourself. Walk around for a few minutes or do some physical activities to engage the mind and the body. This can effectively control emotional cravings brought on by something stressful.
Take deep breaths. This can help the body recover and relax from whatever is causing stress to it.
Eat neutral foods that will help the body restore balance. Examples include seeds, nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
If you enjoyed reading this post, don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook or Google+ or download my FREE Book “Amy’s Home Kitchen”. It is packed with my family’s favorite healthy, clean and delicious recipes.