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Curb Your Cravings


CURB YOUR CRAVINGS 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach

“I’m craving…” is a commonly used phrase but what does it mean exactly. Does it mean you’re hungry? No, actually hunger and cravings couldn’t be more different. Hunger is controlled by your stomach and signals survival mechanisms and cravings are controlled by your brain; and is its way of communicating its needs to you.

For example, let’s say you’re strongly craving chocolate (a common craving). This is your brain’s way of communicating to you that your body is low in magnesium. Raw cacao, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, is one of the highest natural sources of magnesium but not all cravings are deficiencies. Low serotonin levels can also be a trigger for craving sweets. An individual’s mental and emotional state also affects the body’s cravings for certain foods. Serotonin happens to be the neurotransmitter responsible bringing you feelings and moods of happiness.

Dealing with unbalanced mental states such as depression and trying to maintain a healthy diet can be a challenge. We recommend working with a nutritionist or coach to help you practice self-awareness, establish healthy restrictions, and educate yourself on your specific needs.

To get you started on recognizing some of the more common cravings, I have compiled a list below.

Avocados, nuts, seeds and butter. If you’re craving any of the items named above your body is seeking more energy! Avocados and nuts are healthy fats with a high fat content of up to 88% of their total calories — which is about 20 times the average fruit. Yes, avocado is a fruit.This craving is common among people with very low-calorie diet plans and commonly found in individuals with highly active lifestyles. Remember ladies, hormones are made up of fatty acids and we need healthy fats to stabilize our bodies through the roller coaster of our day to day lives.

Can you pass the salt? Cravings for salty foods often time indicates dehydration, which may seem counterintuitive, but signifies an electrolyte imbalance. Cravings for salty foods can also be the result of stress.

Sugary sweets like cakes, brownies, fruits, honey, etc. Cravings for sugary sweets indicate low blood sugar and low chromium and can be a result of increased cortisol. A lack of high-quality sleep can cause this imbalance and craving. If you’re craving cakes, brownies and other general sweets we recommend fruits such as cranberries or grapes or high fiber foods such as beans and lentils. Nuts and seeds — pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, sunflowers seeds are all great for satisfying the sugar monster.

Carbs like pasta and bread. If you’re craving pastas and breads all the time it may indicate a lack in the amino acid, tryptophan. Tryptophan is essential for general growth and development and is key in producing niacin and serotonin. Foods high in tryptophan include nuts, seeds, tofu, cheese, red meat, fish, beans and eggs.

Juicy meat. Any and all meat. Not surprising, cravings for red meat and protein usually indicates an iron and vit B12 deficiency. Women near a menstruation cycle are especially vulnerable to this craving. If you’re having this craving but aren’t a meat lover, are vegan or just want to cut back on your meat intake, please take an appointment with your doctor to make sure you are meeting your protein needs. Beans and legumes are great plant-based proteins but don’t forget to pair them with cereals to have a complete protein with all the necessary amino acids your body needs. Eating fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C improves iron absorption.

Just remember cravings are different than hunger and are just neurotransmitted messages sent to our body to let you know it’s missing or in need of something and are essential in maintaining balance. So stop counting calories and setting restrictions and just listen to what your body is telling you.


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