There will be times when you want a cookie, when the only thing you are hungry for is fast food, when you feel like licking the spoon from the almond butter jar, or eating ice-cream right out of the carton. Sometimes you might choose to do those things, other times you might chose not to; but always remember that cravings are an expected part of life.
Four Types of Food Cravings:
- Hunger cravings for quality food. This is when you are feeling sensations of true hunger and you feel driven toward something that will satisfy that hunger in a nourishing way. You are craving a decent meal or a snack. This is a healthy desire from your body and brain, and you can simply follow this type of cravings.
- Non hungry cravings for quality food. This is when you don’t truly feel a sense of hunger, but you are craving something that’s (mostly) healthy. For example, out of the blue, you want a big, juicy apple. These cravings are rarely problematic and usually indicate that the body is in need of a nutrient that the food contains, so it makes sense to follow these cravings in a what that feels good to you. (or have it with your next scheduled meal).
- Hungry cravings for unhealthy food. This is when you feel true sensations of hunger, but when seems most appetizing is the box of cookies in the cupboard – not the leftover chicken, veggies and rice in the fridge. When you have these cravings, you have a choice. You can follow your cravings as they are, or you can steer yourself in a more nourishing direction. Having cookies during the day is not a big deal, but overtime, it can become problematic.
- Non hungry cravings for unhealthy food. This is the type of craving most likely to be problematic and the one that my clients the suffer from binging or recovered binging become concerned about. Wanting something that isn’t good for you when are aren’t even hungry can cause anxiety in some people, and if followed, these cravings can eat lead to thoughts like, “I’ve blown it, I might as well binge and start clean tomorrow.” Indeed, these cravings are the most similar to binge urges, and just like with binge urges, you can chose not to act on them.