Why You Should Listen to Your Cravings

Cravings happen all the time, whether you’re trying to eat more healthily or not, but with festive season fast approaching, you might find yourself thrown off course even more. Whatever the case, our first reaction when it comes to cravings, is probably to resist and fight the urge, but it might do more harm than good.

Rather than restrict yourself and try to banish them from your mind, allowing yourself to indulge in whatever it is you are craving is actually a more sensible and sustainable approach. Not only does it help to take the allure and forbidden element out of cravings (which we so commonly attach to them, and which only serve to make them worse) it empowers us to make better food choices long-term as well. Depriving ourselves will only make it feel more ‘naughty’ which will probably only increase the craving.

Giving into our cravings as they present is also important in order that we don’t end up substituting one thing for another, that could potentially be worse. If you’re really hankering after a cheeseboard but instead placate yourself with a low-fat dairy spread or some other low-grade substitute, not only will the original craving not have been sated, you’ll probably end up overeating the low-fat version to try and fill the gap.

In order to foster a healthy relationship with your cravings, there are a couple of caveats. The most important thing to be aware of when you do feel cravings coming on is to communicate with yourself and your body; what is it that you’re craving and why do you think you are? Is it a form of emotional comfort? More of a nutrient-based need? Or is it a substitute for something else? Of course, that mean that giving into your cravings should be within reason, which means if you find yourself desperate for a tub of ice cream every single day, it might be worth looking at what the deeper meaning might be behind it. Figuring out the root of the craving means you’re less likely to simply binge and more likely to find a route that helps you better connect both your mind and your body.