6.21.2013

Cravings: 8 Common Causes + How to Get Your Power Back





Hello BUTIsattvas, 

Happy Summer Solstice! 

Today's hot topic is CRAVINGS.

Cravings...Ah sweet cravings (or salty if that's your thing).

Cravings have been demonized in the weight loss world

We shame them, shun them, and drain every last drop of our willpower to keep them at bay. 

Yet, what if our cravings are not the enemy but rather a wise messenger?

What if we embraced them as a friend sent to lead us to greater well-being and not a foe to be conquered.

We are not victims of our cravings. That story has run it's course and is stressing us out (and therefore making us puffy).

It's time to take our power back. 

Scientifically speaking our bodies create cravings whenever an imbalance is detected in our system. Because our body's primary concern is ALWAYS homeostasis, cravings pop-up when there is a need for restored harmony. Genius, really. 

Next time you experience a food craving, put your detective hat on and say: 

"Why hello there craving, what message might you have for me today?"

Your inner guide will respond quickly so be ready!  Once you get your answer take action. Respond in a creative way (beyond food) that will nourish the source of your true desire. 

To help you uncover your cravings messages, consider these 

8 Primary Causes of Cravings

  1. Dehydration The body doesn’t send the message that you are thirsty until you are on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration occurs as mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a strange craving is to drink a full glass of water.
  2. Lifestyle Being dissatisfied with a relationship, having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job or lacking a spiritual practice can all contribute to emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void. Take a moment when a craving arrives to ask what might be a deeper desire.
  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 reestablish balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). 
  4. Inside Coming Out Oftentimes, 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 versions of one’s ancestral or childhood foods. We provide a wide variety of grain-free and delicious comfort foods each month in our meal plans (recipes for grain-free pizza to chocolate fudge and more!)
  5. Seasonal Often the body craves foods that balance out 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. In winter many crave hot and heat- producing foods like meat, oil and fat. Other cravings, such as turkey, eggnog or sweets, can also be associated with the holiday season. 
  6. Lack of Nutrients If the body is getting an inadequate amount of 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. Hormones When women experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unusual cravings. Stay tuned next week for a helpful post on this topic! 
  8. De-evolution When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens, where we suddenly crave foods that throw us off balance. We then have more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings. In our meal plans we always suggest 30g of protein first thing in the morning (using VegaSport Protein Powder) to help avoid this common set-back. 
We discuss these lifestyle concepts in detail in our Signature Food Philosophy and develop our meal plans with mineral balance, seasonal foods and optimal nutritional delivery in mind to keep your body in beautiful harmony. Hop over to our wellness page to learn more!

Here's to your empowered eating and your most empowered self.

Knowledge is power.  Stay curious friends. 

With BUTI love and support, 
MC 
BUTI® Director of Wellness
mc@butifitness.com