Hi friends! Coach Kerri here!
Today I'm sharing my very blog post with you, talking about a really hot topic in the community right- cravings! Cravings can be tough, right? Cravings are defined as- intense, urgent, or abnormal desires or longings. Not only are these cravings common, but they can also be one of the most intense feelings you can experience. Let's talk through my experience with cravings and nutrient deficiencies, and how I think we can attempt to overcome them.
Some researchers believe that when we lack a specific nutrient, we crave foods that are rich in that nutrient. Could cravings be our body's way of filling a nutritional need? Very possible!
Women are more likely to crave sweet foods and men are more likely to crave savory foods. Of course, us women have to have that darn sweet tooth. Alabama girl here so I totally get it. The south is known for their sweets and our delicious sweet tea!
So, what do you do about it? Below is a guide that gives you an idea of ways to conquer those crazy cravings. Follow this legend for identifying and defeating your cravings. Note: this is not medical advice. This is simply based on my own research and experience. I chatted with my doctor about my particular cravings and nutrient deficiencies and I highly recommend that you do the same! :)
Craving, Nutrient Deficiency, Ways to get nutrients
Craving: Chocolate or sweet foods
Nutrient Deficiency: Magnesium, Chromium, & Tryptophan
Ways to get nutrients: Broccoli, Dried Beans, Liver, Eggs, Poultry, Legumes, and Grains
Craving: Meat or Cheese
Nutrient Deficiency: Iron or Calcium
Ways to get nutrients: Shellfish, Spinach, Liver, Red Meat, Pumpkin, Quinoa, Turkey
Craving: Ice, Dirt, Cornstarch
Nutrient Deficiency: Iron, Zinc, Calcium
Ways to get nutrients: Leafy greens, Fish, Chicken, Black Cherries
Craving: Salty Foods
Nutrient Deficiency: Sodium, Chloride
Ways to get nutrients: Tomatoes, Rye, Seaweed, Lettuce, Celery, and Olives
Nutrient Deficiency: Nitrogen
Ways to get nutrients: Fish, Meat, Beans
Craving: Fatty Foods
Nutrient Deficiency: Calcium
Ways to get nutrients: Veggies, Dairy, Greens
Some cravings can also be explained by the following physical, psychological, and social motives:
Suppressed thoughts: Viewing certain foods as forbidden or actively trying to suppress your desire to eat them often intensifies cravings for them. Thus, consuming regular, nutritious meals may decrease the likelihood of cravings.
Context associations: In some cases, the brain associates eating a food with a certain context, such as eating popcorn during a movie. This can create a craving for that specific food the next time the same context appears.
Specific mood: Food cravings may be triggered by specific moods. One example is comfort foods, which are often craved when wanting to get over a negative mood. For example, if you tend to crave foods as a way to get over a negative mood, try to find an activity that provides the same mood-boosting feeling as the food. Or if you're used to turning to cookies when bored, try partaking in an activity other than eating to reduce your boredom. Calling a friend or reading a book are some examples, but find what works for you.
Insufficient sleep and high stress levels: Getting too little sleep and experiencing a lot of stress may disrupt hormone levels, which may increase the likelihood of cravings. Getting sufficient amounts of sleep and regularly engaging in stress-relieving activities like yoga or meditation can help reduce the likelihood of cravings
Poor hydration: Drinking too little water or other liquids can promote hunger and cravings in some people. Get plenty of fluids and reach for foods higher in water content.
Insufficient protein or fiber: Protein and fiber help you feel full. Eating too little of either may increase hunger and cravings.
Before giving into cravings try to wait 30 minutes to see if it will pass. If it doesn't pass, then try to find a healthier version like a piece of fruit for a sweet craving or whole grain crackers for a chip fix. If a craving does appear, it could be useful to try identifying its trigger.
If a craving persists despite your efforts to eliminate it, acknowledge it and indulge in it mindfully by enjoying the food you crave while focusing all your senses on the tasting experience may help you satisfy your craving with a smaller amount of food. This can be so hard! Dieting can be tough, and cravings are always around the corner. So, hopefully you have read some ways to maybe help you through your next craving! Stayed tuned for Cravings Part 2!