We have all been there. We have all experienced the powerful force of food cravings. It could be the
saltiness of potato chips, the sweetness of a chocolate cupcake or the richness of cheese cake. Cravings
often happen out of the blue or they can happen at specific trigger moments. They can become
consuming and can control us in ways that can eventually be problematic. They could lead to overeating,
binge eating, weight gain and more. The thing to realize is that they could be signs that something is
going on. The challenge is to become more aware of the signals, learn to recognize them, what they meanand how to deal with them.
We have been conditioned to overcome our body signals. For example when you have a headache, you
might right away reach for Advil instead of laying down and drinking more water. Does this mean we are
deficient in Advil? No, it means we need more water and rest. It’s the same principle for body cues. We
need to listen more, pay more attention to our mind body connection.
Cravings are not the same as hunger. They are in fact very different and almost total opposites in a way.
We could be experiencing cravings, emotional cravings or hunger. Cravings can be physical or
psychological needs, emotional cravings are usually triggered by a psychological need while hunger is a
physiological need to consume food. Hunger is instinctive in nature for our survival. When we are truly
hungry we will likely want to eat any food that is put in front of us, when we experience a craving, we
want a very specific food or type of food. Cravings will still be there even when you have already eaten.
They provide a false sense of wellbeing and fulfillment. It’s a temporary feel good moment, like a band
aid. We cover it up with food but we don’t get to the root cause. Cravings often arise when we are
stressed, bored, lonely, sad, and anxious and are tied to emotions.