Healthy Body  >  What Do your Cravings Really Mean? Take The Challenge

What Do your Cravings Really Mean? Take The Challenge

CravingsHave a sweet tooth that just won’t quit?

Do you indulge in an entire bag of candy when just one piece would have done the trick?

Still crave crunchy, salty food after trying to curb it with your homemade kale chips?

Taming your temptations for sweets, salts and carbs is much more than finding a healthy “swap,” or practicing self-control.

When you have a craving that feels like it’s invading your entire being, it’s time to dive deeper to learn what that craving really represents.

A Roadmap to Your Cravings

To discover the root cause of your craving, you need to backtrack...

  • Did you get a good night’s sleep? Sleep deprivation clouds your brain (and your judgment) making it far too easy to cave into cravings at the first sign of an energy slump.
  • Are you eating at regular intervals? If not, your blood sugar may drop – leaving you desperately seeking a pick-me-up of the sweet or salty variety.
  • Do you have a nutrient deficiency or nutritional imbalance? Surprising fact: Magnesium deficiency is common in people who obsessively crave chocolate. Their body really needs a good dose of this mineral, instead of a sugary cocoa-filled indulgence.
  • Did you set your day up right? Eating a balanced breakfast with an adequate amount of protein and fat is essential to prevent cravings before they even start.
  • Are you thirsty? We often mistake hunger for thirst. A tall glass of water may do the trick.

If all of these things are in working order, then it’s time to plunge even deeper into your psyche.

  • Is your craving giving you pleasure that you’re not experiencing elsewhere? You might truly be seeking a laugh, or a bit of love, instead of a food-based treat.
  • Is your craving providing energy? Coffee or chocoholics – be wary of artificial energy that will send your blood sugar through the roof… only to come crashing back down.
  • Is this craving returning you to a place of comfort or familiarity? Determine what memories your craving represents for you.

When you uncover the real meaning behind your craving, then and only then will your body be truly satisfied.


Your body communicates to your through your cravings. Are you listening?

This week, I challenge you to tune into your body and its wisdom by sharing:

I crave ___________. But, what I’m really craving is ____________.

My personal example: I crave a chocolate peanut butter “anything.” But what I’m really craving is an energy boost for my sleep-deprived body.

Post your answer below and you’ll be entered to win a Nutribullet to whip up a delicious and nutritious pick-me-up (think Red Velvet Smoothie  or Blended Green Soup) whenever you need something sweet or savory in a flash.

*UPDATE: Thanks to all of you who submitted comments for the "Cravings Challenge".  Suzi is the (random) winner of the Nutribullet.  Craving more challenges?  Let me know, and we can plan another one sometime in the near future.


  • Sarah Koszyk says:

    I crave bready-types of carbs (like cookies, muffins, bread) when I’m stressed and exhausted. But what I’m really craving is a breath of fresh air with 5 DEEP breathes, a quick walk outside to get me out of the office and away from my computer, and a Healthy snack! If I’m fueled right….I won’t need that bready-type of carb that makes me feel guilty later on. Time to go stretch and take a 5 minute breather!

    • Elise says:

      Thanks for sharing. Guilt is never fun, nor does it make us feel any better. I am glad that you figured out what you REALLY need when you crave the bread-type carbs.

  • Suzi says:

    Great post! I’ve been paying attention to this lately (or trying to!) and I’ve noticed that I crave sugary coffee drinks when i really need a break from work and more regular meal times!

  • Silvia says:

    I’m always craving comfort food carbs but what I really craving is filling myself with creative fuel. Terrific post as usual Elise!

  • Bonnie says:

    Just realized this morning that at night I fix too big of a meal but it’s the first time I’ve had a good one all day. What I’m really craving at dinner time is peace and quiet after a hectic, long “to do list” day. Elise, you’re always right on!

    • Elise says:

      Bonnie! I hope that you can figure out how to build some calm into your hectic day now that you know what you are really craving. Thanks for sharing.

  • Michelle says:

    I crave chocolate. But what I’m really craving is relief from stress!

  • The whole key is to become aware of your cravings and what they are really telling you. I used this exercise all day today and found myself making better choices. And I questioned the *why* of my cravings. It was an eye-opening experiment that will become a habit for sure. TY Elise. xoxo

    • Elise says:

      Thank you, Sharon. It makes me so happy to hear that the experiment has been eye-opening already. I hope you continue to tune in and learn your *why*.

  • Melody says:

    I crave salty potato chips. I enjoy the crunch. I often eat them when my house is quiet and I yearn for more to energy to exercise!

  • Jen says:

    Loved this post!

    I’m trying to be more aware of my body in general, as you say I’m ‘tuning in’. I find I’m a comfort eater so if I’m feeling stressed out or a little low instead of a snack I try to do something else to lift the spirits…pictures of Monty are always good 😉

  • Paulette says:

    I just realized that the little candy bars I was craving in late afternoon were masking my resentment of working too many hours. I have been using those candy bars as a guilty way of telling myself I deserve better.

    • Elise says:

      Hi Paulette!
      That is such a common theme that I hear from women. So glad that you were able to make that connection for yourself.

  • Nice Elise! I totally ‘get’ this. It’s so important to address what the real issues are in cravings. After years of suffering from eating disorders and finding and healing the emotions that I was trying to ‘fill’ myself up with, life became so much easier. I wish more people would focus on the underlying cause instead of taking appetite suppressants or yoyo dieting. I hope this reaches many it can help 😉

  • Emma says:

    Great advice, I like to sit at the table for all means. It helps me to fight cravings by creating a mental connection between eating and sitting at the table.

  • Wendy says:

    I’m carving sugar today but what I really need is an uninterrupted night of sleep and relaxation. I’m also exhausted from organizing so many “fun” things to do.

  • Sandra says:

    At the moment, I’m craving a big, tall, flavored ice coffee with syrups that have little to no redeeming value and a handful (or two) of jelly beans. What I’m *really* craving is a good night’s sleep…and a few jelly beans. Great blog post. Thanks for making me think.

  • I crave chocolate in the afternoons right after eating. But, what I’m really craving is excitement in my day! I tend to only eat loads of candy when I’m at work because I’m bored and sitting at a desk for a large chunk of my day. I will definitely keep this in mind and think of other ways to replace the craving! Maybe taking a short walk!Thanks for the reminder.

    • Elise says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      I am glad this post helped you dig deeper. Sounds like you have some great strategies to help with those afternoon cravings.

  • great blog! the information you provide is quiet helpful, why i was not able to find it earlier. anyways i’ve subscribed to your feeds, keep the good work up.

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