Why You Crave Ice Cream, Chips, Steak or Mom's Mac 'n' Cheese

What foods do you crave the most?

There are many reasons why you crave a particular food ranging from nutritional imbalances to emotional hungers. Here are some common food cravings and why you might have them:

  • Crunchy foods like chips and crackers: needing to express frustration or anger

  • Warm, soothing dishes like soup, stew and oatmeal: seeking emotional warmth

  • Spicy fare like Mexican and Thai: hankering intellectual or emotional stimulation; something to spice up your life

  • Protein-dense foods like meat, eggs, nuts or nut butter: yearning to feel more grounded, strong or focused

  • Nostalgic foods like cookies and milk, grandma's pie, dad's pancakes or mom's mac 'n' cheese: desiring the ease, security and comfort of childhood

  • Smooth, creamy foods like ice cream, pudding, peanut butter, mashed potatoes and avocado: longing to soothe and relax an anxious mind

  • Sugary treats: craving a mood lift, energy boost, expansion or more life sweetness

  • Chocolate: lacking magnesium or desiring love or intimacy

Look Upstream
Of course, all cravings aren't so black and white. Often, they are driven by numerous factors. I love helping my clients deconstruct their cravings. Sugar is one of my specialties; I'm a pro at uncovering the true source of a wicked sweet tooth.

When it comes to cravings, I look upstream. Meaning, I search for the root cause. You might know you reach for cookies or candy when you're feeling blue or low energy. The next step is to determine what's causing your funk or fatigue and keep working backwards until you land on the true trigger (hint: it's often a deeply ingrained core belief).

There are always exquisitely good reasons why you crave what you crave and eat what you eat. Peeling away the layers until you find the ultimate source of your cravings will empower you to finally release them.

Belly Full But Mouth Still Hungry? 3 Reasons Why...

Do you ever end a meal with a full belly yet your mouth is still hankering for something more?

This is called "mouth hunger," and it happens for many reasons from nutritional to emotional. Let's explore three of them here.
1. Lack of Awareness
When you eat breakfast while driving, inhale your lunch while working, and scarf down dinner while watching TV, you gyp your brain and body of the complete eating experience--that is, the nuances of your food's taste, texture, aroma, and appearance. Your lack of presence leaves you full yet unfulfilled, so your mouth demands more.
2. Macronutrient Imbalance
If your meal doesn't provide a good balance of macronutrients--protein, fats and carbs--your mouth hunger may be a yearning for a particular nutrient. Sometimes I crave almond butter after finishing breakfast, which I've discovered is my body's way of telling me it needs more morning protein.
3. Low-Pleasure Foods
Low-pleasure foods can show up on your plate in many ways. It may be due to a recipe not turning out quite right, a diet plan that doesn't satisfy your taste buds, or a meal made with poor quality ingredients. Regardless, when your meal doesn't provide pleasure, your mouth will seek satisfaction from more food.  
Hit Pause, Get Curious
The next time your belly is full but your mouth is still hungry, hit pause and get curious. Reflect on what may have been missing from your meal.

Do you need to slow down and ditch the distractions?

Do you need to pitch your fat-free diet?

Perhaps you need to swap your takeout food for homemade fare.
Respond with curiosity and compassion, not judgment or guilt. Engage fully with the experience and let it expand and deepen your relationship with food and your body.