craving: an intense, urgent, or strong feeling of wanting something
craven: a Jamaican patois (patwah) word that means “greedy”
foodie: “a term of endearment used to describe a “craven” person with a never-ending “craving” for food (in my opinion)
Food cravings are to be expected, but ask yourself, “am I really hungry?” A food craving is an intense, and sometimes uncontrollable desire for a specific food. Feeling stressed may also promote emotional eating and cravings for comfort foods. These types of foods are often junk, processed, and high in salt, sugar, and fat. Craving these types of foods can be a major roadblock for people trying to maintain a healthy weight or switch to a more healthful diet.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to help cope with cravings. Here are some tips:
Tip 1 Don’t wait for intense feelings of hunger before you eat. Have a regular pattern of meals and healthful snacks planned throughout the day.
Tip 2 Start new habits. Replace the activities that trigger food cravings with something else. Go for a walk, have a good stretch, or enjoy a cup of herbal tea.
Tip 3 Uncover nutrient deficiencies. What deficiencies might cause you to crave sugar, carbs, chocolate? What deficiencies might cause you to regularly dive into those crunchy, salty snacks? Recognize what you truly need and find a healthy alternative.
Tip 4 Eat mindfully. One of the keys to better health is to enjoy eating your food slowly and in a stress-free environment. Take the time to pay attention to each bite, noticing how your food looks, tastes and smells.
Tip 5 Discover healthier versions of the foods you crave. If you crave foods like store bought potato chips for example, why not discover a healthier version that’s homemade?
Processed foods contain many ingredients that contribute to poor health: chemicals, preservatives, unhealthy fats, excess sugars, additives, artificial food dyes, refined carbohydrates, and synthetic vitamins and minerals the body cannot process, and more. As a general rule, if there is an ingredient on a food label you can’t make at home or you won’t find in nature, the best practice is to leave the product on the shelf.