Have you ever finished off a bag of cookies and asked yourself, "What happened here? Why did I just eat the WHOLE bag?" You body is trying to tell you something, so it's a good idea to listen, and in this way, look at your food cravings as a good thing! Let's look at some reasons why you may have a craving and discover the emotional, psychological, and physiologic imbalance that is occurring.
Top reasons why you have a craving:
Being dehydrated is a common cause of having a food craving. And so just drink some water and the craving will go away.
2. Imbalance of primary life needs.
So maybe if you had a happy health relationship to come home to, you wouldn't be compelled to reach the bottom of a Haagen Dazs pint, or if you had a great day at work with fun pleasant coworkers you wouldn't rush for that bottle of merlot. Or perhaps it is a lack of spiritual or creative expression in your life, or a lack of invigorating exercise routine. If we look deep inside us, we will realize our needs. And then it takes courage and perhaps counsel to make needed changes.
3. Ying/Yang imbalance.
Most of us have too much yang which is characterized by stress and busyness at work and pressure to make money and acquire materials. We need more yin- relaxation, stillness and spiritual renewal, but we don't get that and so we turn to sugar and alcohol. Or perhaps you are eating too much meat and so you start craving vegetables and fruit. Or if you are on a raw food kick you may start dreaming about eating animals.
4. Inside out
We sometimes crave what we ate as children - for me it is gummy bears, red vines, dried octopus, hot pot, and fast food. Or maybe after not eating a donut for many years, you start to eat a donut, and then the next day another, and the craving takes over. The food experience that is inside of you and wants to come out again. Try a tongue scraper so that you are not tasting that food over and over again in your mouth.
In the winter, we tend to eat rich and oily foods and in the summer, more cooling raw foods.
I certainly crave a cold beer in the summer heat.
6. Lack of nutrients.
Sometimes your body just knows it needs more protein or carbohydrates. Or if you lack some minerals or other nutrients, you may crave salty foods.
Pregnancy, periods, and menopause cause hormonal fluctuations that cause cravings. So women, don't beat yourself up out there. Some things are beyond our control, but we can always choose healthier options to satisfy our cravings.
It is possible that everything is going so well for you - You are on eating healthily and exercising regularly and all is in sync with the universe - but you just can't stand it. It's all too perfect and maybe everyone around you is eating junk food and having unhealthy habits, or maybe you don't feel like you deserve it...so you sabotage with cravings.
Want to learn more about mindful and healthy eating? Dr. Peng will hold lectures this August and September at Island Trek - Join us for a transformative week of hiking, kayaking, yoga, fitness classes and delicious organic locally sourced nutritious food. Visit www.islandtrekfitness.com. Book now, Space is limited!