In fitness culture, resistance is a buzzword we love. Resistance against sugar. Resistance against the urge to stay on the couch. Resistance against snacking. Today, we’re leaning into Star Trek culture with epic advice from The Borg: “Resistance is futile.”
When it comes to cravings, saying “no” isn’t always the best course of action. There are often legitimate reasons for the cravings, and opting for a low-cal substitute leaves you feeling unsatisfied and over-indulging anyways. Today, we’re talking about how to handle cravings. Spoiler alert: you don’t have to give up chocolate!
What’s behind the craving?
Sometimes a craving is just a craving. Other times, your body is telling you something it’s lacking. Below, we’ll address some of the most common cravings, what they mean, and healthy substitutes.
If you’re craving chocolate or sour/acidic foods, your body may need magnesium. Nuts, seeds, veggies, and fruits can provide the magnesium your body craves.
Constantly craving salty foods? Your body may lack chloride or silicon. To replenish these, try fatty fish and goat milk or cashews and seeds, respectively.
Does your sweet tooth demand satisfaction? You may lack chromium, which can be found in grapes, broccoli, cheese, and chicken.
Sometimes, cravings aren’t physical— they’re emotional. Sugar and carbohydrates increase serotonin, a mood-stabilizing neurotransmitter, which explains why people experiencing depression may reach for carbs and sweet snacks for a comforting boost of serotonin.
Environmental factors bring on other cravings. Were you watching The Great British Bake-Off when your cake craving hit? Did a McDonald’s ad on YouTube trigger your need for a burger? Marketing is designed to make you take action, but you don’t need to give in to their psychological tricks.
While the replacement foods above are great options, sometimes you just need a bar of chocolate or a bag of chips. Avoidance of a particular “bad” food often leads to binge-eating tendencies later. It’s ok to give into cravings occasionally but avoid turning a singular desire into a regular habit.
A good relationship with your body involves knowing yourself and the cause of your cravings. Instead of fighting a sugar craving, stop for a moment and ask yourself a few questions:
- What is the exact food that my body wants right now?
- Is there an emotional need I’m trying to meet with this craving?
- Is there a nutrient deficiency that could be the cause of this desire?
Asking those questions before pushing a craving away or immediately giving in can give you a deeper insight into your mind and body and equip you to move forward mindfully.
When you keep a balanced diet and a regular workout schedule, you don’t need to worry about giving in to your body’s wants and needs. Sign up for Enhancewell Fitness classes or private sessions to keep your body moving, increase your serotonin naturally, and have a whole lot of fun while getting fit. When you spend time with the Enhancewell team, resistance bands are the only resistance in your future!