Do you dream about the moment you can launch into a packet of crisps or sink your teeth into a soft, sugar coated springy donut?
Are you suddenly struck by the overwhelming desire for a slab of cheese or a piece of toast?
Chances are you're experiencing a food craving. While there are many theories at work behind this overwhelming desire to stuff yourself; from what your mother ate when you were in the womb, to the demand of your second 'gut brain' or even weird pregnancy cravings, another theory is that we are simply guided by the lack of, or the need for, a specific nutrient.
Most food cravings correspond to a request from our body. Whilst it might be hard to decipher the psychological from the physical, a good starting point is to respond to an unhealthy food craving with some healthy foods. The theory being that if those replacement foods contain the same nutrients they might help curb that desire, at least, this is what can happen according to the infographic below from BookTable.
So, in theory it should be possible to eat your way out of a crisp craving with a handful of healthy olives or a chocolate weak moment with a paleo chocolate brownie. Of course, the reality of replacing a sugary donut with a spirulina and fruit smoothie is open to debate. And admittedly munching on a spinach and seafood salad at the movies, instead of a beautiful box of popcorn with butter, probably isn't going to cut it.
As with most things, extremes are hard to sustain, and there's a time and a place for everything. But with that in mind be aware that if you always want cheese, perhaps your body is calling for more calcium and fatty acids, or you could alwayas try stemming the craving with a dish of eggplant and crispy kale chips.
Take a look at some other solutions to curb those food cravings: