What your cravings really mean

Cravings are a completely normal part of life, but did you ever think there was an underlying message your body was trying to send you? When the body is lacking certain nutrients, it can give you the impression that you want something else, like a sweet treat or salty snack.

It’s unfortunate that we tend to crave unhealthy foods, and often it happens in times of stress or boredom. It’s a good idea to try and identify why you’re craving something and address that first. For instance, if you’re bored then there are a couple of behavioral strategies that can help you stay away from those ‘empty calorie’ foods.

The first method I use with clients who find themselves eating mindlessly is distraction. If you find yourself sitting at home ready to jump at that opportunity for a sugar hit or faced with the option of snacking on an entire packet of chips, quickly take your mind elsewhere and think about doing something in that moment that will replace your original intention. Your future self with thank you. Find something to do that will take longer than just a few seconds so that your craving has time to pass. For me, its housework, because there’s always an abundance. I usually fold the laundry, wash the dishes, clean the bathroom, whatever it takes! Find whatever it is that works for you and stick to it in times of trial and tribulation.

The other method I use is the 24 hour delay where you would wait 24 hours before giving in to your craving. If you still want that slightly naughty food after waiting a whole day then by all means, treat yourself. Most people will either forget about what it was they wanted, or they simply won’t have the urge anymore – you win either way! If your cravings are NOT related to boredom, then lucky for you there’s a way to work out what nutrients your body might be lacking and which foods you should be eating to combat those deficiencies.

Check out the table below for specifics and use the healthy substitute to help stave off those naughty foods.

Written by Ann Smith (Nutritionist & Dietitian) If you’re after specific Nutrition advice, please contact Ann – asmithnutrition@outlook.com or 0411214886.