Every one of us has experienced, from time to time, a sudden urge for a certain food or drink. Sometimes these urges become an intense craving, destroying the best laid eating plans.
Food cravings are insistent and usually an uncontrollable desire for a certain type of food that people will go to any length to satisfy. They are more than just a preference for a certain food or even an impulse to buy certain foods or snacks. What they show us is that we are being controlled by our body’s cravings rather than controlling our body’s needs.
Food cravings, like everything else come on for a reason. They indicate a chemical or hormonal imbalance cause by a lack of healthy nutritious eating.
Basically when food cravings occur, the body is trying to tell get our attention, to tell us something. It is begging to be fed properly. If you meet that need, the craving ends. If you don’t, it becomes stronger and stronger.
Unfortunately, when we are in “crave mode,” our bodies seek foods that are high in fat and calories in order to satisfy the void in our stomach.
There are many different types of food/drink cravings, each brought on by a particular imbalance. For example, if we lack minerals like zinc or magnesium (found in meats) we might crave a chocolate bar containing the same ingredients.
Cause of Food Cravings
Blood sugar imbalance –
Studies indicate that people with cravings, especially regular dieters, often have an underlying blood sugar imbalance. Their sugar levels fluctuate too much because they eat to many of the wrong type of carbohydrate. These fluctuations in blood sugar cause cravings, water retention, excessive thirst and mood swings.
This type of imbalance most often results in insulin resistance. When the body is in this state, it stops responding to insulin and grabs every calories and deposits it as fat. No matter how little food is consumed, weight is gained. At the same time, the cells cannot absorb the glucose needed so they signal the brain that more carbohydrates or sugars are needed and the end result is persistent food cravings.
Dieting is dangerous –
Many diets being promoted and tried (such as Atkins and South Beach) actually worsen metabolic problems because dieting is stressful to the body. This increases food cravings. Our metabolism must be healed first before considering weight loss. The most effective weight loss food plans don’t leave out food groups.
Emotional issue –
We all have them. Stress, depression, boredom and a general need for comfort can all trigger unhealthy food cravings. In the most severe cases, it can lead to binge eating and other eating disorders. When exhausted or blue, our blood sugar and/or serotonin levels are low causing the body to signal the brain that it needs a pick me up. This signal results in sugar cravings or carbohydrate cravings.
Sugars and carbohydrates release short bursts of serotonin providing a “feel good” moment but we soon return to a low-serotonin state and crave more sugar and carbohydrates. It’s a downward spiral/cycle that goes no where good.
Imbalanced hormones –
It’s a fact that the strongest food cravings occur in the week prior to menstruation or during pregnancy suggesting that these type of hormonal swings influence food cravings. Another interesting note is that men are typically less effected by hormonal imbalance than women and therefore tend to develop fewer food cravings.
The bottom line is this:
When we continually eat a specific food, the more our bodies want it. The more we eat it, the more we need it because the body becomes conditioned to crave these foods. Eat chocolate consistently and your body craves more of it. Sadly, these types of foods provide little to no nutrients. The body ends up in a low energy state with fatigue, depression and weight problems.
Truth is, nutritional foods are our best friend but cravings are our worst enemy.
Providing the body/mind system with proper amounts of nutrients and avoiding substances that trigger insatiable desires is the only way to eliminate these pesky cravings.
To reduce food cravings, the body needs support – lots of it. Eating healthy, nutrient dense foods almost always miraculously curbs cravings. Our metabolism heals itself when provided with nutritional support.
To eliminate food cravings involves two strategies:
- Satisfying a nutrient deficient body
- Stabilizing blood sugar levels
When provided with the right ingredients, the body is an amazing self-healing machine.
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