Uncontrollable and what can seem unexplainable cravings can be a regular experience and there are many causes behind why we may encounter these. One common cause is an imbalance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and/or not eating regular meals. When we fail to do so, we may find ourselves caving to cravings, especially sugar cravings.

Sugary foods rapidly increase our blood sugar levels (BSL) which in turn may give us an instant hit of energy. This energy however is usually short lived as our BSL come crashing down again and we experience an energy slump. Then we might reach for more sugar, a coffee or another type of stimulant to boost those energy levels again. Think of those almost necessary and often habitual afternoon chocolate bars or evening treats.

When we think of sugar, we often think of lollies, cakes, biscuits and chocolate etc but what if we have savoury cravings? What if we tend to reach for chippies (crisps), bread or chips etc? These refined carbohydrate foods are quickly turned to sugar in the body, having the same effect on the BSL.

Eating a more balanced diet and eating a decent portion of food regularly may reduce those cravings. Rather than only eating a piece of fruit or a salad low in protein for lunch, try to eat meals that contain a decent amount of protein, some carbohydrates and some fats. Try to do this at every meal, including breakfast. If you are someone who does experience cravings, especially uncontrollable cravings, make sure you are eating regular meals; not skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some people may need to include morning and afternoon tea, especially initially.

Try this and see if it helps reduce your cravings. There are other causes to uncontrollable cravings such as habitual emotional eating, hormone imbalances and digestive issues to name a few, but a balanced diet is a good initial place to start.

Natalee Durrant – Naturopath and Medical Herbalist