5 mins read
People are always telling us what we should and shouldn’t be eating and how we should be living our lives! Whether that is through instagram, news articles, adverts or TV shows!
But ultimately as we’ve all heard many times before we are all different, with different demands and ways of working, therefore it is imperative that we listen to our bodies and act accordingly.
When you are craving something that usually means your body is deficient in something at that time. Now when I mean cravings I don’t mean after every time you eat savoury you crave sweet, as that just becomes a habit and needing something sweet and wanting something sweet are very different things. The craving I’m talking about is when you have something really particular in your mind that you fancy and however hard you try to ignore it over a couple of days, it won’t leave your mind until you have it - that is a craving that needs satisfying.
However, to make things even more confusing, sometimes you think you are craving food, when actually you could be craving something else such as sleep or exercise.
Below is a list of the most common cravings and what they mean:
Chocolate - A common one is a delicious sweet and creamy chocolate bar! This could be because you are low in sugar and need a pick me up! But this could also mean you are just tired and actually craving energy in any form, therefore sleep would be more important than chocolate, however in the middle of a working day, that isn’t always possible.
On the other hand if it is dark chocolate you are craving this could be because you are low in iron or magnesium. This is often common for those on a plant-based diet and it can be recommended to have a square of dark chocolate every day as part of your diet.
Salt -This is another common one, but it could also be due to being dehydrated therefore before you reach for a bag of pretzels drink a large glass of water and then assess if you're still craving it.
However if you do a lot of exercise and have been sweating a lot then you may need to put the salts back in.
Alternatively salt cravings can also mean that you are stressed, so as I mentioned above about not reacting immediately, try going for a walk or doing some breathing exercises before you turn straight for the crisps in order to work out if you really are craving salt or just stressed or dehydrated.
Carbohydrates - If you find yourself craving pasta, cookies or bread, either you just didn’t eat enough during your meal time and you're actually still hungry! Or the most common reason for this craving is actually your just tired as these carbohydrates are great for energy sources, so although it may help short term, long term what your body really needs is a good night's sleep!
Spicy Food - If you find yourself craving some spice, what your body is telling you is that you need to add some variety into your diet. It’s very easy to get into a routine of eating the same thing every day but that’s actually not very good for getting all the micro-nutrients into our body as different nutrients come from different foods. So when you find yourself craving a spicy curry or hot salsa, that’s your body telling you, you need variety
For more on adding variety into your diet - checkout the blog post on the 30 plant challenge
Lastly, restrictions are a common cause for cravings, if you are banning your body from something, sometimes that will ultimately make you want it more. So don’t ban anything, just listen to your body, eat as well as you can given your daily circumstances and just think before you suddenly reach for a bar of chocolate, as it could actually be something else that your body needs.