So many of us experience food cravings. Sometimes these cravings seem to come out of the blue, and we suddenly find ourselves swept away by the irresistible desire to eat a particular food. Whether it’s chocolate, potato chips, cheese or bananas, it may feel like the craving is completely random. But the truth is, cravings are almost always carrying important messages for us. They may relate to any aspect of our being – body, mind, heart, or soul – and chances are, they’ll stick around until we start paying attention. In this fascinating video from IPEtv, Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, breaks down the three main kinds of cravings to help you understand what your sudden desires for certain foods may be telling you. When you learn their language, you just may start to welcome cravings and the information they offer about what you need to thrive nutritionally, and emotionally.
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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Hi, I’m Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Today I am going to talk about 3 Kinds of Cravings
If you’re alive and living on planet Earth, you have probably experienced a craving. It might have been for some sugar, or chocolate, or perhaps pancakes and syrup, or bacon, or pizza; maybe you had a late night craving for something loud and crunchy, or cold and creamy. Sometimes it seems like our cravings live at the intersection of biology, desire and insanity. If we don’t proceed slowly, things may get messy. But if we listen closely to our cravings, we just might find that they have a few things to teach us lessons that go deep into our nutritional soul. According to the fields of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition, originated here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, most cravings fall into three main categories: supportive, dispersive, and associative.
A supportive craving occurs when the body instinctively yearns for a food that enhances the healing process, fulfills a nutritional need, or neutralizes an imbalance in the body. Have you ever craved citrus foods when suffering from a cold or flu? It’s easy to understand this biologic desire when we consider the vitamin C content of oranges and grapefruits, and the cleansing effect of citrus fruit. Supportive cravings can also be unique to your own body’s metabolic needs. The bottom line here is this: the body craves because the body knows we need a food for continued health.
On the other hand, a dispersive craving is a desire for a food that drains health and diminishes our energy. These can be just as intense as supportive cravings. Many of us long for foods we suspect will not make us feel good, especially when eaten in excess. So how is it that we can crave something beneficial, yet also crave something harmful? The answer lies in the nature of human yearning. The body may yearn to experience aliveness through sweet things, tasty things, and whatever stimulates and excites the senses to a heightened experience of life. And just as psychological yearnings can become distorted, so can biological ones. Just as the heart can look for love in all the wrong places, so too can the body. Both are easily seduced. it’s just how life works.
Associative cravings occur when we yearn for a food that has a meaningful association with our past. Associative cravings are often the most difficult to deal with because we’re uncertain about whether they’re beneficial or not. For instance, foods from our childhood may be of questionable nutritional value, yet eating them can be deeply nourishing to our soul. By surrendering to such a craving we can visit our past, and relive feelings that may bring their own special healing moment, regardless of the nutritional value of the food.
When we take the time to really look at our cravings, we discover something deeper. We find that there are some brilliant reasons why we desire the foods that we do. We discover that our relationship with food is a journey, and that there’s always some good work to do on self. When it comes to our cravings, we might have to move through some discomfort or pain, and when we
do, we just might find ourselves feeling more peaceful, more energized, and more in touch with our body and its fascinating needs.
I hope this was helpful!
To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video training series at ipe.tips. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition that have helped millions forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health. Lastly, we want to make sure you’re aware of our two premier offerings. Our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training is an 8 month distance learning program that you can take from anywhere in the world to launch a new career or to augment an already existing health practice. And Transform Your Relationship with Food is our 8 week online program for anyone looking to take a big leap forward with food and body.