How do you know if what you're feeling is hunger or cravings? 🤷♀️ If you're not in-tune with your body, or hunger signals, this can be a source of much frustration! So, how can you tell?
To look at it simply, hunger is caused by the physiological need for food (energy, nutrients, etc), while cravings may arise when you feel a psychological, or emotional, need for food. 🥘
Ask yourself, is this desire for food emotional or physiological? Do you feel like eating a certain food will calm you down, or make you happy? Or do you feel like the food will provide you with mental and physical energy?
There can be some gray area here, too. Sometimes the body will noticeably "crave" something out of the ordinary... some type of dairy product you wouldn't typically opt for. Say, full fat yogurt. You walk past it in the grocery store and your body and mind are screaming out for you to buy it! It feels like exactly what you need! And then once you consume it, your body suddenly feels at ease, or restored. In this scenario, your body could have been deprived of a different fatty acid profile, carbohydrates, or some aspect of intestinal need for healing (probiotics). So I like to think of this technically as hunger: your body's physiological need for specific nutrients and energy sources.
This can happen with other oddly particular fruits and vegetables, herbs, and more!
In contrast, if there is a food you're craving that has little beneficial nutrient or calorie value, and you feel a strong psychological desire for it, this may not truly be a food your body needs!
Next time you feel the itch for a specific food ask yourself — is it emotional or physiological? 🤓
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