Food cravings are something we all experience, yet some of us will be able to exercise better will-power than others when it comes to resisting or choosing to indulge.
Yet do any of us ever stop to think about why we might be having these food cravings – especially if they crop up just after having lunch or following a stressful experience?
Ultimately, our cravings are messages from within ourselves that are trying to tell us that our bodies are lacking in something important. Whether it is essential nutrients, a physical lift or extra sustenance to help your body through a time of stress, there are many different reasons why these annoying messages emerge.
Your body is craving nutrition
Pangs of hunger are a natural survival mechanism – reminding us that we need to eat to stay alive. As well as a lack of food, these pangs can also indicate a lack of specific nutrients that are essential for keeping the body functioning smoothly.
A craving for salty food could indicate a nutritional need for more minerals, whilst a craving for sugar is often a sign that the body needs energy. In many cases this can be due to stress, poor sleep, or too few carbohydrates in our diets, but often we mistake this craving for a need for sugar.
Your body is craving physical change
Craving an unhealthy snack at the same time everyday – usually between 3 and 4pm (snack o’clock) – can signal that you’re tired from a full day at work and your brain and body needs to rest or move.
When this craving hits you, rather than reaching for the biscuit tin, consider closing your eyes for a few seconds to focus on how you really feel. If you’re tired, can you pop outside to your car for a quick nap? If you’re anxious or achy leave the office for a walk around the building or outside for some fresh air to perk up your body and mind.
Your body needs food to process deep emotions
Cravings that pop up when you are feeling emotionally vulnerable often lead to compulsive eating because doing so is easier than really feeling the message from your body. These cravings can occur when we are struck down by feelings such as grief, anger and frustration and are essentially physical manifestations of an emotional issue.
It is important to understand that these cravings are completely natural, and signal a need for comfort. Feed them in a way you are comfortable with and when it feels like a good time, address the underlying cause of the craving so that you can move forward.
If intense food cravings are affecting your ability to maintain a healthy weight, hypnotherapy can help to change negative eating and thinking patterns to promote healthier lifestyle choices. To find a professional hypnotherapist who can help with weight-loss, please use our advanced search tool.
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