Do you have irresistible cravings from time to time? Do you find once you indulge your cravings it’s hard to go back, meaning you start craving those types of foods or sweets, or even drinks day after day, week after week?
Most of us have cycles or patterns of cravings that are seemingly irresistible, and ultimately those cravings are costing us. Maybe they cost us health wise by causing us to gain unwanted weight? Or maybe they cost us mentally causing us to handle stresses that arise less gracefully, leaving us feeling irritable and frazzled?
Personally my cravings have never really been for sweet foods and people tell me I’m lucky, but honestly cravings cost me just the same. For example, I crave carbs more than most, and alcohol when I’m off. My college roommates could most certainly vouch for me. When I overindulge in either it affects me on so many levels. If I eat too many carbs, I tend to go to hell in a handbasket and swill one too many glasses of wine, and vice versa, too many glasses of wine leads me to eating things I might not normally eat, and that in turn leads to unwanted pounds and a general feeling of dissatisfaction. I’ll feel bloated and overly tired, and yet won’t be able sleep as well.
Whether we crave sweets, carbs, alcohol or soda, our cravings are our bodies’ way of trying to tell us something.
Here are 6 things your body might be saying to you when you have irresistible cravings:
- You need sweetness elsewhere in your life: We all need moments of sweetness throughout our days/ life. Make sure you are getting plenty of hugs, taking a sunset stroll, reading a good book by the fire, or taking a hot bath with your favorite essential oils and some Epsom salts.
- You are eating too many processed foods: Often processed foods can be low in fat, but high in sugar. Refined sugars cause our blood sugar levels to rise and then crash, leaving us craving more refined sugars to boost energy again. For these reason it is best to use natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup (the body doesn’t respond the same to these). You can also try eating more fruits and vegetables instead. Having them cut up ahead of time helps with the convenience factor too.
- You’re thirsty for more water: Often times cravings are a sign of dehydration. When we drink things other than water they can be full of refined sugars which again cause that same spike and then crash in blood sugar leaving us searching for the next boost. Be careful, even natural fruit juices can cause these same spikes. Water is best.
- You’re drinking too much caffeine: Caffeine dehydrates us which in turn causes blood sugar levels to drop and cravings to ensue.
- You need more exercise: Ideally we need 45 minutes of exercise a day. Start with 10 minutes and work your way up if you aren’t currently there. Exercise works to balance out the blood sugar levels which is great, but it also helps reduce stress, making the need to medicate ourselves decrease.
- You need better or more sleep: When you are fatigued or generally lacking energy and stressed, your body will crave the energy you are lacking elsewhere, often in the form of refined foods and sugars. When we drink caffeine on top of this, we exemplify our cravings even more.
So the next time you have an irresistible craving, stop, listen to your body, and hear the message it is really sending you. I’d encourage you to think twice before you indulge and then take measures that will leave you with the long lasting satisfaction and pleasure you truly desire and deserve.
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