8 Causes of Cravings

Eight Causes of Cravings

The body is amazing. It knows when to go to sleep, when to wake up, and when to go to the bathroom. It maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees, repairs itself when wounded and knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Your heart never misses a beat. Your lungs are always breathing. The body is a super-computer, and it never makes mistakes. 

Look at the foods, deficits and behaviors in your life that are the underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance. When you experience a craving, deconstruct it. Ask yourself, what does my body want and why? 

The eight primary causes of cravings are:

1. Lack of primary food. Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong kind), 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 primary food. 

2. 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. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced. 

3. Yin/yang imbalance. Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa. 

4. Inside coming out. Often times, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.

5. Seasonal. Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. 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. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, eggnog or sweets, etc.

6. Lack of nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.

7. Hormonal. When women experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.

8. De-evolution. When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings.

In my health coaching program we track cravings and incorporate ways to soothe them and ways to avoid giving in! 

Click here to schedule a free assessment! 

Kissable Lips - Dehydration or Lack of Lip Balm?

How soft are your lips? This is the time of year things feel dry but wet but soggy and chapped. Why on earth?? Water? Lip balm? What's the answer?

Dehydration. If your lips are dry enough to become chapped then it's time to increase your water intake. The way to calculate how much you should have a day depends on how active you are, size, height, weight etc. Essentially....if your lips are drying out...you're not getting enough water. Mayo Clinic advises that men should have 3 liters a day and women should have 2.2 liters a day. This is a larger amount than the popular "8 glasses a day" rule, which is only 1.9 liters. A simple trick for getting enough water can be to calculate the ounces or liters of your water bottle. Then it's as easy as putting rubber bands on your water bottle and sliding one down each time you drink a bottle worth. Each day just slide the rubber bands back up to start again. Other options are taking a big old jug with enough room for all of your water and drinking the whole thing down by the end of the day. Share your other tips and tricks in the comments!

A good old lip balm can help avoid a case of cracked kissers. However this is not the solution after your lips are chapped. Sometimes the environment or a dry home can influence the condition of your lips and skin, but increasing your fluids can surely give you a better chance to stay soft. Not all balms are created equally, a great local choice is Ecolips. I had the pleasure of touring the facility here in our very own Cherry Building in NewBo. Some people opt for Burts Bees or other brands that vow to use natural ingredients. The last thing I want to do is put chemicals in my poor painful pouter. 

There are, of course, other possibilities like disease, playing instruments that use the lips, allergies or ailments.  

If you just seem to have no other symptoms try increasing water. Your lips will thank you! Muah!