3-Steps to Navigate Cravings

Cravings are very common & can be a sign that your body is trying to communicate something to you. Have you tried listening to your body lately?
3-Steps to Navigate Cravings

We all have cravings! Cravings are totally normal and can be a sign that your body is trying to communicate something to you. So what is the best way to handle a craving? There are 3-steps to help you navigate cravings.

1st Step | Listen & Acknowledge

When cravings occur, listen to your body and acknowledge them as they arise. Acknowledging a craving could look like you saying what you’re craving out loud to yourself, “Hm. I’m craving chocolate.” Sometimes our natural reaction is to ignore it and try to get on with our day. We may try to ignore the craving, because we fear that the craving is going to control us. We don’t want to ignore what our body may be trying to tell us! The more you listen and acknowledge, the more in-tune with your body you will become.

2nd Step | Explore

Be a detective! Once you’ve acknowledged the craving, begin to explore the origin of craving without judgment. There’s no need to be angry or critical with yourself about having a craving. They are totally natural. Think of cravings as your body trying to send a signal. Maybe your body needs something! Explore it and find out the root cause. Look for patterns and triggers. Observe what time of day your cravings happen and events that lead up to that point. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my blood sugar low?
  • Am I feeling hungry?
  • When was the last time I ate?
  • Did I have enough water today?
  • Did I get enough sleep last night?
  • Am I feeling anxious or stressed?
  • Do I get the same cravings at the same time every day?
  • Where am I on my month’s cycle?
  • What has the quality of my diet been lately?
  • Am I feeling unbalanced in one of these 4 areas — relationships, career, spirituality, physical activity?

3rd Step | Proceed with Empowerment

You’ve acknowledged your craving, explored the root cause of where it’s coming from, and now proceed with a sense of empowerment! You have observed with a neutral attitude, and now it’s time to take action. Sometimes we can uncover that our cravings are so much more than just a random urge to binge sweets. If this is true, proceed by fixing the problem or direct cause of the craving.

   If you’re craving alcohol, drink water instead. It’s difficult to drink a lot of alcohol when you’re drinking 8 cups of water a day. If you’re craving 4 cups of coffee a day, instead carve out time in your schedule to take a nap when you crave that 2nd or 3rd cup. Or maybe you need to change your sleep routine?

   Other times maybe we explore possible reasons behind the craving, but we don’t have an answer. In those cases, still try to make healthy choices! Eat a healthy snack or drink water. In those few times we can’t find the root cause, giving in to a craving every so often isn’t going to set you back significantly. Eat the chocolate or have a small glass of wine. However, after that move forward with your day and don’t think too much about it! We all are going to have those moments too. What’s important is making sure your craving is not being caused by an imbalance of another health-related area (i.e. lack of sleep, dehydration, lack of nutrients, etc.).

Different causes of cravings


Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, uninspired by your job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of primary food. Comfort food got it’s name for a reason because we are searching for comfort when other areas of our lives are not going so well.


We live in a world that is always on the go. And what goes with go? Caffeine! The typical American drinks on average 3 cups of coffee every day.


When we are constantly drinking coke, coffee, energy drinks, you name it, we sometimes forget to drink plain, simple water. When we keep the cells in our body hydrated, we can prevent some unnecessary cravings from arising.


If the body has inadequate nutrients, you’ll have odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.


When women experience menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings. For example, you may have experienced craving chocolate at some times of the month. This is a pretty normal occurrence for women.

STRESS. Stress can be a big contributor to cravings. We tend to turn to food for comfort in times that we feel pressure.


Sometimes if we wait too long to eat, our blood sugar will drop low and we begin craving food. Your body will then send you a message via cravings to eat something so it can bring your blood sugar back to homeostasis. It’s important to keep healthy snacks around and not wait too long to eat in-between meals.

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