I just finished reading the book Constant Craving by Doreen Virtue. It’s a fairly easy read about the root of our excessive food cravings.
Doreen Virtue is an eating disorders therapist (among many other things) so her book is largely based on her personal experience with clients. She backs up many of her theories with scientific data – which is always helpful for the skeptic :)
There is a difference between emotional hunger and real hunger. There are a number of ways to tell the difference – one way is emotional hunger is sudden. One minute you are not thinking about food and suddenly you need to eat something. NOW. Real hunger is gradual, gives you signs of rumbling and growling over time. this book and blog is mostly about emotional hunger which can easily lead to overeating.
It amazed me how clearly she identifies the reason we crave certain foods. Over her years of practice and study, she has found common trends in why we crave the foods we crave. Through understanding our strong cravings, we are able to reach further than the cookie jar to sooth our deeper needs.
Chocolate Cravings - Hungry for Love
Chocolate is the #1 craved food, especially for women. It signifies a desire for emotional intimacy, romance and love. Chocolate also triggers the feel good hormone, serotonin. We eat it when we want a pick-me-up and to feel better.
So chocoholics, if you want chocolate to have less of a leash on you, know that you are loved, you are lovable and you are more than worthy of love! Love yourself and chocolate will love you less.
Dairy Cravings - The Antidepressant Foods
Dairy products contain mood altering properties such as choline (soothing), L-tryptophan (calming), sugar (temporarily energizing) and the added touch of creamy texture (comforting).
Cheese and ice cream are usually the go-to’s in this category. If you can’t go a day without there are some actions you can do/take to help relieve this. Know that you are safe and secure, give yourself permission to relax and let your guard down. Let your true self shine through.
Salty Snack Foods - Stress, Anger and Anxiety
These foods have a crunch to them. This allows us to take out frustration, tension and anger on every bite. They are also salty which give our taste buds a ton of attention.
If you binge on chips or salty pretzels look at the level of stress, anger and anxiety in your life. Once these start to relive themselves you will notice less of a need to eat. Let yourself feel the tension in your body and rather than avoiding anger – feel it. Take deep breaths to soften anxiety.
Spicy Foods - The Drive for Excitement
People who love Mexican, Thai, or Spicy Chinese food, love the thrill of a spicy life. They crave excitement and high intensity work. These guys have big personalities and are the sensation seekers. They work hard and play hard.