ARE YOU EATING YOUR FEELINGS?

So, you’re craving chocolate again. Or that creamy Pasta Alfredo again. How about topping it off with a chewy caramel ice cream after? Do you know what that means? Hint: you’re feeling a lot more than hunger. Today, experts know that food cravings actually have a lot to do with one’s emotional state. In other words, we’re drawn to specific food types based on how we feel.

Our cravings tend to manifest themselves when we’re feeling vulnerable. Rather than expressing our emotions, we tend to stuff them down with food, which our bodies translate as comfort and fulfilment. Ever heard the term “eating your feelings”?

Of course you have! You’re only human! Most people accept food cravings as a normal part of everyday life without really ever asking “why?”. No two bodies are the same and therefore no two reasons behind a specific food craving are the same. While some may be rooted in nutritional deficits – others may be a deeper signal from our souls echoing throughout our bodies.

Your mind, body, and soul communicate through intricate signals, which isn’t always easy to decipher. However, with a little effort, you can translate these signals and create the means needed for improved health.

Scientific research shows that when people have trouble identifying the emotion they’re experiencing and ways to deal with it, they’re more likely to go on a binge-eating spree or stress eating, and give in to their cravings. After a while, your body learns this routine and sends cravings in order to create a short-term boost of chemical components.

By deciphering the real meaning of your cravings, you can get insight as to what’s truly gnawing at you from within. The more readily we can express our emotions, the healthier our bodies, minds and souls will be, and naturally our hearts, too.

CRAVING SWEETS
PHYSICAL

•    Tired

•    Blood sugar imbalances

•    Deficient in chromium

•    Deficient in magnesium

•    Deficient in fatty acid

•    Deficient in water

EMOTIONAL

•    Lacking self-love

•    People-pleaser

•    Have difficulty in saying no to others

•    Hero syndrome

•    Lack of sweetness in one’s life

 

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE

•    Fresh fruit

•    Fruit smoothie

•    Coconut water

•    Honey or stevia plant natural sweetener

•    Learning how to say no

•    Delegate tasks to others

•    Have more “me” time and not feel guilty

 

CRAVING SALTS
PHYSICAL

•    Deficient in water

•    Deficient in iodine

•    Deficient in chloride

•    Low level of electrolyte

 

EMOTIONAL

•    Stress

•    Adrenal exhaustion

•    Refusing to let go

•    Difficulty in going with the flow

•    Feeling stuck in a situation or life

 

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE

•    Water

•    Coconut water

•    Vitamin B rich food

•    Sea vegetables like seaweed and kelp

•    Exercise

•    Meditation

•    Hug a tree

•    Swim in seawater

 

CRAVING FATS
PHYSICAL

•    Deficient in fatty acid

•    Deficient in calcium

EMOTIONAL

•    Lack of self-worth

•    Grieving a loss

•    Nursing a hurt feeling

•    Not feeling safe, wanting protection

•    Feeling betrayed, wanting isolation

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE

•    Avocados

•    Coconut Oils

•    Legumes

•    Omega 3’s (EPA and DHA) – Chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseed

•    Reconnect & strengthen one’s spirituality

•    Forgive & forget

•    Connect with friends & family

CRAVING CHOCOLATE
PHYSICAL

•    Deficient in B-vitamins

•    Deficient in essential fatty acids

•    Deficient in chromium & magnesium

•    Deficient in serotonin

EMOTIONAL

•    Lacking love in one’s life

•    Feeling depressed

•    Insomniac

•    Low sexual desire and function

•    Low appetite

•    Low memory function

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE

•     Love yourself more

•     Believe you are good enough

•     You deserve to be loved and supported

CRAVING COFFEE OR TEA
PHYSICAL

•    Deficiency in sulphur

•    Deficiency in iron

EMOTIONAL

•    Adrenal fatigue

•    Mentally exhausted

•    Craving more excitement in life

•    Bored at the monotonous pattern in one’s life/work

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE

•    Leafy greens like kale, brocolli & cabbage (eat more vitamin C for better iron absorption)

•    Venture outside one’s comfort zone

•    Align career, passion and purpose of one’s existence

•    Go for vacation in nature and sleep

CRAVING FOR MEAT
PHYSICAL

•    Deficiency in iron

•    Deficient in vitamin B12

•    Brittle nails and hairs

•    Wound taking a longer time to heal

•     Heavy period flow

EMOTIONAL

•    Mentally exhausted

•    Not grounded/airy

•    Need to execute a task/project at hand

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE

•    Leafy greens like kale, brocolli & cabbage

•    Unsulphur-ed dried fruit like figs and prunes

•    Hug a tree

•    Swim in the ocean

•    Meditate in nature

•    Go dancing

Most cravings pass after 15-30 minutes. So wait them out. It comes almost in a wave, and most people give in right before the peak. Visualize getting over the peak and push through. Go within in meditation and reflect what is the root cause of the cravings.

Accepting our own authenticity and importance frees our power and allows us to go against social norms that cultivate insecurity. Through meditation and self-honesty, we are able to experience and understand ourselves better and it’s possible to see how beautiful we really are, and how much we are worthy of love and to give to the world.

Meilinda Sutanto is a certified integrative nutrition health coach and an alumni of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, New York City. She is also a certified meditation instructor and studied with the internationally renowned Metaphysical & Spiritual Master Umesh H.Nandwani. As a director of The Golden Space Indonesia, she is also the main anchor of the +Energy Health program. Her workshops include Food Intelligence and The Healing Self. More cravings are discussed in the Food Intelligence workshop. She can be contacted at meilinda22.sutanto@gmail.com