I used to experience major cravings. For many years it seemed I only wanted to eat greasy, fried, cheesy, or sweet foods. Of course I knew I wasn’t “supposed” to be eating those foods, but I was convinced that was what I wanted. What I didn’t realize was how our minds’ play tricks on us. What I didn’t realize was how powerful our thoughts can be. Once I started becoming aware of what my body, not my mind, truly wanted things started to fall into place.
By Erica Trestyn
My body amazes me everyday. It is always trying to maintain an optimal state of balance. It tells me when I need rest, when I need to drink more water, when I am hungry or too full, when I am cold, it even tells me when I experience too much stress. Cravings are our body’s way of communicating with us. Many people view cravings as a weakness, but really, they are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance. It is just a matter of interpreting those messages so that you can give your body what truly nourishes it. I know now that my body doesn’t want fried mozzarella sticks or greasy Chinese food. What my body really wants are greens, water, avocadoes, fruit, nuts, and even organic dark chocolate. Here are my secret tips for reducing cravings and Cultivating Nourishment in your body.
1. Drink More Water
Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water.
2. Get More Sleep
Most of us are sleep deprived. When our bodies are tired and in need of rest we experience more stress and our blood sugar levels fluctuate very easily. This causes our body to crave sugar, processed foods, and stimulants. Since many of these substances are addictive once we eat them our body just craves more.
3. Eat Enough Protein
Eating too much protein or too little protein can lead our body to have cravings. Often when we are craving sugar it is because we need more protein in our diet. Even if you are a vegetarian you should be getting a small amount of protein with every meal. If you’re not sure how much use the palm of your hand for measurement.
4. Ditch the Stimulants
We all know that stimulants are addictive. As soon as we have them our body wants more. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, and processed foods all fit into this category. They are also very expansive foods. The more we eat them the more our body will crave contracting foods such as, meat, dairy, and heavy carbohydrates.
5. Eat Dark Leafy Greens
You may have heard me say this before but dark leafy greens are the best way to nourish your body. Not only are they filled with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, but they give you tons of energy. The more you eat them the less your body craves sweets and processed foods. It really is that simple. Eat them with every meal.
6. Eat According to Season
Eating with the seasons helps balance our body and give it what it needs. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil and fat.
7. Don’t Use Food As a Substitute for Something Else
Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of insufficient primary food.
8. Learn to Tune In
I don’t believe in willpower. I believe in Cultivating Nourishment for the mind, body, and spirit. I believe in tuning into what your body wants and needs. Once you learn how to do that, you will understand how to reduce your cravings and feed your body, not your mind, what it wants.