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Food Cravings and Emotions

What are the motivators of food cravings? How do your emotions work with the cravings? This post speaks of motivators for some cravings and the Ayurveda Dosha they are oftentimes connected with.

From a client: “My biggest problem is giving in to cravings in the evening when my energy is low. I sometimes feel I could eat way too much from a variety of foods - nuts, crackers, or sweets with white flour and sugar, salty cheese, pasta etc”.

Let’s dissect where these cravings can be coming from.

Part of this is biological cellular memory, craving for what you’ve been eating for many, many years... what you were accustomed to growing up as well the habitual habit of feeding the mind some stimulants. Also involved can be the call of the tummy as it’s become accustomed to continually eating, thus not allowing the digestion to have a break.

Would you call it an emotional dependency?

If so, can you remember when it started, what emotional situation it was attached to? Once you have opened the way to understanding, memories may begin to surface where they can be loved and put to rest. Step number one is acknowledging there is something behind the cravings and you’ve decided you are changing – and the journey begins!

Declaring that you’d be happier to have full control over your life and nutrition will lead to decreasing unhealthy consumption of foods. Along the way, it can be difficult, sometimes unbearable as you’re shifting things – excuses, unconscious giving in, shame, all of this stuff comes into play. This is part of the fascination of living in our world - love, love love

Comfort cravings

These cravings are the desire for comforting, sweet, creamy foods. But this feeling we all know too well, is really a desire for something warm, calming and nurturing. The craving often accompanies feelings of anxiety, insecurity, worry or sadness. In terms of Ayurveda, it is an expression of a Vata imbalance.

To satisfy this craving:

  • have a loving, memorable conversation with a friend

  • listen to “sweet” music

  • using a dab of sweet essential oils, give yourself a massage

  • drink warm fennel tea.

Energy cravings

This is the desire for a quick pick-me-up; a coffee boost or a rush from a fizzy drink or chocolate bar. However, it is actually the body wanting something stimulating following feelings of lethargy, dullness or depression. This form of craving is a symptom of a Kapha imbalance.

To satisfy this craving:

  • listen to loud, upbeat music

  • book a “vigorous” massage

  • use strong oils, such as bergamot or rosemary

  • drink ginger or spiced tea with honey.

“I need to relax” cravings

The craving for quick, finger foods such as salty crisps and crunchy nuts, indicate feelings of extreme frustration and anger. When you are feeling annoyed and stressed, your Pitta becomes unbalanced.

To satisfy this craving:

  • take an evening walk

  • book in for a calming massage

  • use sweet aromas, such as sandalwood or jasmine

  • drink cardamom or liquorice tea.

Keep up and you will find your way!

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