Ever feel guilty when you give into a food craving? Well, there is no reason to be! Cravings are clues our body gives us to signal what nutrients we actually need!
Cravings are both psychological (what our brain feels like) and physiological (what our body needs). It is totally fine to eat foods you are craving (heelloooo pasta 😍), but if you find yourself constantly craving the same type of food, it could be a sign that your body is in need of certain nutrients!
So girls, it's time to let go of the guilt and let me decode what your cravings actually mean!
Find yourself constantly craving sweet foods like chocolate and candy? Although you may just be craving sweets because let’s be honest, it tastes delicious, it is actually highly likely your sweet craving is driven by magnesium and chromium deficiency.
Magnesium and chromium are two minerals that help to regulate blood sugar levels and decrease sweet cravings. With up to 75% of the US population not meeting the RDI of magnesium, and up to 90% having low chromium intake, it is super likely that these deficiencies are majorly contributing to your sweet cravings!
So how can you beat these sweet cravings? Increase your consumption of magnesium and chromium rich foods! The best sources of magnesium are dark leafy greens, bananas, cashews, quinoa, and ironically – dark chocolate! Great sources of chromium include egg yolks, whole-grains, spinach, bananas and lentils. Or if you’re really in the mood for dessert, cook up some healthy recipes from my Sweet Treats ebook!
Fatty Food Cravings
Are most of your cravings for fatty foods like french fries, fried chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs? Well, this craving could mean that your diet is too low in calories. Since fat is the most calorie dense macronutrient, if your body is realllyyy hungry, fatty foods are what it craves to give your body the calories it needs!
A diet low in protein may also cause this craving. This is because protein is the macronutrient that keeps you fullest for the longest and helps to regulate appetite. With not enough protein, your body will get quite hungry and cravveee them fatty foods to satisfy it!
So what can you do about this? Increase your consumption of healthy fats! Great sources of healthy fats include oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. It’s also a great idea to increase the protein in your diet. Animal sources include eggs, lean meats and plant-based sources include tofu, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
Cravings for Carbs
Do you keep craving white pasta, bread or rice when you’re low in energy? Cravings for refined carbohydrates are usually a result of unstable blood sugar levels. These types of refined carbs cause a massive blood sugar spike, and then a blood sugar low, giving you low energy. This triggers your body to crave more carbs to get more energy. The only problem is, this is an endless cycle that can only be broken by eating more fibre! Eating complex carbs that are rich in fibre help stabilize blood sugar levels for long lasting energy.
The best way to beat this type of craving is to eat complex carbs! Great examples include brown rice, quinoa, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, and of course, vegetables – including potatoes!
Salty Food Cravings
Craving some extra salt on your meal? Or super salty potato chips? Having cravings for salty foods actually can signal dehydration! This is because salt contains the electrolyte sodium, which helps to regulate fluid balance in the body for optimal hydration. You may especially experience salty food cravings after a workout if you have not replenished yourself with enough water.
So what should you do if you have salty food cravings? Ensure you are drinking enough water! You should be drinking at least 8-12 glasses of water every single day to be optimally hydrated. Another great way to increase hydration is to incorporate hydrating foods into your meals like cucumbers, watermelon, berries, oranges and lettuce.
My #WBKgirls know having a healthy relationship with food is SO important. It is TOTALLY fine to eat the foods you crave, but it’s also just as important to recognize what your cravings mean so that you can improve your nutrition and overall health too!
My programs include meal plans that are super balanced to ensure you will get results whilst eating DELICIOUS food that also satisfies your cravings! So keep this in mind – if you’re craving something, listen to what your body is telling you!