When we are trying to lose weight so often we are able to crush cravings for a couple of weeks or months but then our cravings hit us full force and we end up in a cycle of self-sabotage and yo-yo dieting. As the women enter my free and private community most of them perceive their cravings as their enemy.Sound familiar? I know for me it meant losing 40 lbs , then losing 50 lbs and finally 100lbs and finally not gaining it back.
This cycle of yo-yo dieting happens because our cravings are messages that our body is sending us. Our body is attempting to communicate with us via our food cravings. When we suppress them using discipline and strength we often end up with short term weight loss success. However, long term those cravings will typically come back and this is where we start that cycle of losing 20 pound and gaining back 25.
In my clinical experience I have observed 4 mains cause of food cravings divided into 2 categories: emotional and physical. This article will go into detail about the most common causes of food cravings and what you can do to crush them for good!
Emotional causes of cravings
By far the most frequent root cause of food cravings are our own emotions. We eat to numb, suppress, to relieve ourselves from stress or even anger. A few signs of hunger that is triggered by emotions as opposed to a physical hunger include:
- Desire for a specific food
- Paired with upset emotions
- Absent-minded eating
- Does not recognize fullness
- Associated with guilt
You can read more about some of these triggers in my article 5 signs your are emotionally eating but it is important to understand that certain foods are associated with specific feelings so we might crave chocolate when we’re hungry for love or bread to comfort and calm our minds. You can access a chart which demonstrate the association between certain emotions and selected food right here.
Unfortunately, long term these cravings will prevent any lasting weight loss and can leave us feeling bloated, tired, and guilty about our indulgences. One of the best methods for overcoming these cravings is to impose a 15-minute cooling off period during which you get really honest in asking yourself whether this is a physical or emotional hunger. If you want more information on emotional cravings, I’ve developed a super simple 4-Step Solution to Food Cravings that you can download here!
Physical causes of cravings
Weight loss can be incredibly difficult when we’re constantly fighting against our cravings and physical imbalances can be at the root cause of many of them.
Blood sugar dysregulation
This bodily imbalance is one of the strongest driving forces for our cravings for sugar possibly the biggest saboteur of weight loss efforts. When we eat large amounts of high sugar or carbohydrate foods we start a cycle of blood sugar spikes and crashes due to the release of certain hormones designed to keep our blood sugar highly regulated.
When we end up in one of our sugar crashes we end up craving sugary treats and sweets to bring it back up.
In order to beat these cravings we need to switch our focus to a whole foods diet that eliminates processed sugars and refined flours. Eat more fat and healthy sources of protein to help stay fuller, longer; prevent these peaks and crashes; and activate your weight loss potential! A great way to rid yourself of sugar cravings is to complete a Nutritional Reset.
For a more detailed you can also watch my video detailing the steps on how to beat sugar for good!
Nutrient deficiencies & cravings
Another physical imbalance that can cause cravings, which sabotage weight loss efforts are underlying nutrient deficiencies. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent so when we are missing crucial nutrients required for our daily function they will send out messages in the form of cravings.
Unfortunately, we don’t always crave the healthy foods that are full of these nutrients so we end up reach for sweet treats when we’re deficient in chromium. Or we may reach for greasy, fatty foods when we actually need calcium. And bread cravings can be a sign of nitrogen deficiency.
A great way to manage these cravings is to ensure you are eating a varied, nutrient-rich and made from real food. I have a free guide to real food right here for you..You can also figure out what your cravings are trying to tell you and seek out foods high in those nutrients by using the chart right here.
The third physical cause can prevent weight loss all together. The microbiome is the bacteria inside of our digestive system. Certain pathogenic bacteria and yeasts such as Candida albicans thrive on sugary sweets and high carbohydrate foods. Thanks to their invasive nature they can hijack our systems and cause cravings for all sweets things.
Figuring out whether this imbalance is at the root of your cravings is the first step in overcoming it to finally lose weight for good. Focus on eating healthy fats, such as coconut oil, that have antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Nourish your digestive tract with healing bone broth. If needed work with a practitioner who knows what herbs and protocols are best for rebalancing the microbiome.
*** Update : A recent body of evidence suggests that gut microbes might play a significant role in influencing cravings. You can read the science behind this root cause of your cravings right here.***
Learn to crush cravings & lose weight
If you need further support to beat cravings and achieve lasting weight loss make sure you sign up for my signature program Crush Your Cravings. This program will give you the exact step-by-step process to stop the cause of your cravings.