Do you ever have those days where you would do just about anything for a slice of chocolate cake? We’ve all been there. Many times. And it seems like most people have, considering the amount of research that has been done on food cravings and how to deal with them.
Check it out: Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, defines:
1. Supportive cravings are those that are trying to fulfill a nutritional need, such as a craving for citrus foods when you have a cold. In this situation, it’s important to listen to your body because your instincts are trying to tell you what is needed for survival. Just be careful to pinpoint the nutrient you’re craving, not necessarily the food. For example, if you’re craving red meat, you body may be trying to tell you that you need more iron, but red meat isn’t necessarily the healthiest option.
2. Dispersive cravings are basically for foods that are unhealthy or yield minimal nutritional benefits. The body is craving a false sense of fulfillment when it wants addicting junkfood, sugars and alcohol. When dispersive cravings strike, David says you can’t blame yourself. Your body sometimes can’t tell the difference – it just wants what it wants.
However, we can take control.
A documentary worth watching, Hunger for Change, explains how our brain creates a bigger desire for something when we think we can’t have it.
In this situation, it helps to remind yourself, “I can have it, but I don’t want it.”
3. Associative cravings are the warm, comforting foods that have symbolic meaning to them. David describes these cravings as the most difficult to deal with because we’re uncertain about whether they’re beneficial or not. Whether the foods we associate with memories of loved ones or important times in our lives have nutritional value or not, we often still find value in eating them.
As you can see, food cravings are complicated and can affect everyone differently. The next time you’re craving something, ask yourself why. You might learn something new about yourself and be able to improve your health.