Is it hunger or emotional eating?
Do you have cravings over food? Mostly it’s chocolate for me, but I also get hit with a salt craving occasionally. So I was interested to learn that our craving for certain foods have alot more to do with our emotions than with hunger.
Food cravings can have a lot more to do with your emotions than with actual hunger.
Think about a time when you were really happy. You felt confident and stimulated, you looked forward to each day and food was an afterthought. How about when you felt sad, depressed or low in self-esteem? No matter how much you ate, you never felt satisfied.
When you’re really hungry, you’re not that fussy about what you eat – your body wants fuel and it wants it now!
So if you start to crave certain foods, you could be using food as a comfort – eating rather than expressing your emotions.
Research shows that when people can identify the emotions they’re experiencing and have strategies to deal with them, they’re far less likely to binge eat. The more we understand our emotions, the healthier our bodies, hearts and minds will be.
So what do the foods that we crave really mean?
Pastries, cakes, lollies and desserts – this is the most common craving I hear from my health mentoring clients!
Working long hours and jumping straight from one to-do to the next on your list leaves often leaves you feeling exhausted and drained so you reach for the sweets for a quick energy and feel good food boost.
Solution: Find an activity you enjoy and indulge for 15 minutes or more each day. Try taking a walk in the park, reading a good book or treating yourself to a foot massage. Once you begin to let yourself have joy in your life, you won’t be looking for sweet foods for comfort.
If you’re craving spicy, eye watering food this may mean that you’re really craving some more spice and action in your life!
You love to be on the go whether it be social events, travelling or exploring exciting new things. When you’re not making the time to do the things you love, spicy food can be the zing that you’re missing!
Solution: Try a dance or fitness class you haven’t tried before ( Salsa?) the latest blockbuster action movie or even explore a new neighbourhood.
Salt moves the water in our bodies – it’s a magnet for movement and flow, which is important for helping people to “go with the flow” of life and relax.
Solution: Find ways that you can sink into the moment and reflect. Try deep breathing, running, meditating or anything that taps into your creative flow!
Caffeine gives the false impression of keeping it all together and being mentally sharp, but it has the opposite effect!
Solution: If you give your mind a rest with meditation and some quality sleep, you’ll really be able to concentrate.
Who would’ve thought that craving food of a particular texture could also signify an emotional state? A craving for crunchy food indicates stress, anger and frustration. It provides something to crunch and snap down on.
Solution: Try writing your frustrations in a journal instead of bottling them up till you explode!
Those who crave chocolate are most likely also craving intimacy. Chocolate contains compounds that change our brain activity, giving us that ‘ in love’ feel good feeling.
Solution: Maybe you need to get or give a hug the next time the chocolate craving hits.
Nutrition (food) is a secondary source of energy. Primary foods, or nonfood sources of nourishment, are what really fuel us.
As children, we all lived on primary food. Lovers thrive on the pure bliss and peace they are experiencing, while passionate entrepreneurs are fuelled by their work. The excitement and rapture of daily life can feed us more completely than any food.
So next time the cravings hit, stop and ask yourself how you are feeling – are you really hungry or do you need to look at other solutions?
If you’re ready to make conquer those cravings and make some positive changes in your health and would like some support, I’d love to work with you.
I offer a free 15 minute discovery call so we can get a feel of how it would be to work together and to see if we’d be a good fit.