Mid day or late night, the cravings can come on strong, and the thought of ignoring them seems impossible; but the feeling of guilt that comes after you toss down the chocolate cake or potato chips, doesn’t really make you feel any better, either. Maybe, just maybe, these cravings are your body’s way of telling you that you’re lacking in certain nutrients (assuming it’s a physical, not an emotional food craving.) In this article, I reference four cravings that most of my clients experience…sugar, chocolate, salty, and cheese.
The Sugar Craving
Is having a “sweet tooth” a result of developing a bad habit or could it be something more?
When the craving for something sweet kicks in, this could be a signal that your blood sugar is out of balance. Here are 4 steps that will help reduce those sugar cravings:
Add foods that balance out blood sugar levels to maintain insulin levels such as:
• Proteins help maintain blood sugar; examples would be organic grass fed beef, eggs, grass feed whey protein.
• Healthy fats; examples would be coconut, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, avocados.
• Fiber will help you stay full longer; examples are vegetables, nuts, chia, and seeds.
• Sour or pro-biotic foods; example are keifer, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or yogurt.
Get sugar and grains out of your diet.
Grains convert into sugar, which enters the blood stream; spiking the insulin level and cause the cravings.
Supplements to help balance out sugar levels.
• B Complex vitamins.
• Flax or chia
• Spinach Extract
Weight training and burst training (H.I.I.T) will stabilize blood sugar.
Long distance cardio will cause your body to crave sugar.
The Chocolate Craving
Chocolate could be categorized under the sugar cravings section, but I felt it deserved its own voice. Chocolate could very well be the most popular of the sweet cravings, yet the reasons we crave chocolate differ then what I listed in the Sugar Cravings section. Craving chocolate may signal a deficiency in magnesium. Chocolate is made with cacao which is high in magnesium. Saying this, it’s best to stick with a small piece of dark chocolate, in lieu of milk chocolate which is usually loaded with sugar. Other foods high in magnesium are nuts, seeds, leafy greens, fish, or my favorite, cacao nibs.
The Salty Craving
Before you grab the bag of potato chips, here is something to consider. If you crave something salty, such as potato chips or popcorn, it could be a sign you’re dehydrated or you might need to add more calcium rich foods to your diet. To satisfy the salty craving, first try drinking a tall glass of water and give it a few minutes. If the craving still lingers, try eating some dark leafy greens, yogurt, or a handful of almonds.
The Cheese Craving
You are back home after a long day, and nothing sounds better then sitting back with a glass of wine with some cheese. Do you go for the cheese because it just seems like the likely pairing with wine or is your body telling you something. Potentially, your body may be deficient in these 3 things:
Healthy fats, Vitamin D, and Calcium.
The bottom line… listen to your body; don’t fight it. Feeding your body in a smart way, with the nutrients it is asking for, will reduce your cravings and keep your waist line in check.