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Hey guys,

Why is it soooo hard to resist a strong food craving?! There are days where I’m fine eating my meal prepped meals but then there are other days where I want nothing but crunchy chips or sweet treats. It made me wonder… are cravings really as evil as they seem, or is there some science behind them?

It turns out…

YES. There is science behind it!

Sometimes we crave certain foods when our bodies need something. In other words, cravings are one way our bodies communicate with us. Pretty cool!

Here are some common food cravings and what they might mean.

Craving sweets? 

I mean, I crave sweets all the time but I can think of two times when my cravings get SUPER intense: when I’m emotional and when my period is about to hit.

Turns out there’s a reason why!

Emotions trigger strong cravings because your body literally “craves” comfort. Sugar in particular triggers the “reward center” in the brain, which makes you more likely to crave sugar whenever you need to feel better.

Your body also has more cravings when your hormones are out of balance, which is exactly what happens around your period.

Maybe you NEED chocolate specifically

Of course you could crave chocolate for the same reasons you crave sweets. BUT some experts wonder if craving chocolate might indicate a magnesium deficiency. Oh and there’s more – low magnesium can impact your mood! So if you notice you’ve been down and you’re suddenly hit with a chocolate craving, it’s possible that you’re low on magnesium.

Your body needs more magnesium when you’re on your period, so definitely pay attention during this time!

To tackle this craving without overeating the Ghiradelli, go for other magnesium-rich foods like bananas and leafy greens.

Orrrrr something with a good crunch

We’ve allllll been there, hopelessly staring into the pantry wishing we had something crunchy to snack on. UGH! Why is crunchiness so satisfying sometimes?!

Well…you might be stressed or frustrated!

YES! Chewing on something crunchy helps you release some tension that might be building in your body. Hmm so maybe that’s why once you start eating a bag of chips, it’s almost impossible to stop!

If you’re avoiding that, try munching on some crunchy veggies or make your own baked apple or sweet potato chips. YUM.

If you’re dying to get your hands on something salty…

Yessss sometimes I just need pickles, popcorn, or anything salty.

If you’re the same way, you might be dehydrated or your electrolytes could be out of whack. You’re most likely to get hit with a craving for something salty after a workout, when you’ve been outside a lot on a hot day, or when you’re not on your water game.

So drink up, and see if that helps!

When you’re hit with a caffeine craving

If you’re craving a latte, chai tea or maybe a soda, there might be more to it than just loving the taste.

We tend to crave caffeine whenever we need some kind of “pick me up,”  So you might notice a strong craving if you’re feeling drained from stress, you’re not getting enough sleep, or you just hit that mid-afternoon slump.

Craving caffeine can also mean you’re dehydrated! Not drinking enough water can make you feel super sluggish, which might trick you into thinking you need caffeine for a little energy boost.

If you want to save money and calories, try drinking more water or see if a quick workout might boost your energy a bit.

If you’re craving a juicy steak…

Craving red meat might mean your body needs more iron, zinc or vitamin B12 – especially if this craving is a little unusual for you.

If you’re also looking a little pale, feeling tired or weak, or having other symptoms of anemia, it might be a good idea to have your Dr. check your iron levels. Also, it’s possible for your iron levels to dip just a little when you’re on your period, because you’re losing blood. So you might notice that you crave more burgers and steaks around this time!

Most of the time, cravings stem from habit. 

However, it’s totally possible that your cravings mean that your body is trying to tell you something.

If you’re dealing with cravings, remember that it’s not always bad to give in! Sometimes resisting just makes the craving stronger. So listen to your body and don’t guilt yourself for eating the foods you crave in moderation.

What kind of foods do you find yourself craving the most often?!

The Conversation (40)

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  • Sami Hernandez says:

    I’m literally about to start mine and I made more than 2 dozen oatmeal cookies. 🤣 I carve for cookies so bad right before, during, and after. I also cut up a lot of cucumbers so I can nibble on those when I’ve already had my daily amount of cookies 🤣😉

  • Sai shruti says:

    Chocolates!! Oh my god I crave chocolates a lot on my period!!
    And banana chips sometimes on a normal day,so muchhhh!!!I sometimes just want a bag of chips and want to sit and watch Netflix.
    This really helped. Thanks Cassey,love you❤🤗

  • Gala says:

    I usually crave chips or popcorn, but there are times where I just have a really big craving for chocolate bars or chocolate cake!

  • Abi says:

    Same here. Except I eat nutritional things that’re good in iron &hydrating..or just depending the craving it lets me know what my body lacks. Or like you said ‘if I’m really’ like just wanting that then just eat it but at small/regulated portioning.
    😙awesome read~

  • Gina says:

    Hey cassey, i was wondering if you could do a 20 min extreme workout to kill those bra buldges, upper back fat and especially the fat under your armpits? That would be really awesome since the armpits and upper back areas are soo hard to target and they definitely are my problem zones. I always get so insecure about wearing any kind of thin strapped tops in the summer…😭😭😭
    Btw i couldn’t thank you enough for getting me through the quarantine. It’s only been 2 1/2 months and I’ve gotten so much stronger, it’s insane! And also, it’s the first time in my life that I‘ve actually sticked to a workout calendar and been active almost every single day, I‘m incredibly proud of myself! So again, THANK YOU Cassey & please stay as amazing as you are! Xoxo

  • Sara says:

    Cassie! Your blog posts on cravings are so informative and thoughtful! Telling us we don’t have to avoid the foods we like to stay fit, toned and healthy! Thank you!

  • Alana says:

    I workout so hard with the blogilates calendar but my bad eating habits hold me back from being healthy. Please. How can I teach myself to ear healthy.

  • Tanya says:

    I have ALWAYS had massive cravings and gone into these bad spirals of snacking, getting all hitter and being unable to concentrate, then snacking again etc. I try to only eat healthy snacks and have gotten better at controlling it over the past few years.
    But what really seems to work for me is intermittent fasting. I refrain from eating 16-17 hours in a row, and for me that means only eating 12-8PM. I still feel I can snack a little in the afternoon but I actually feel much less tempted. And in the evenings, where it is SO easy to munch some chocolate, chips etc. I just don’t anymore. And I feel much less rest less because of it! Feels like a miracle 😊

    • Tanya says:

      “hitter”? Seriously, auto-correct, go to bed! I meant *jittery 🤦‍♀️
      And *restless — double 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

  • Xiomara Rodriguez says:

    I’ve read about low magnesium causing the cravings for sweets. What are your thoughts on taking a mag. supplement?

  • Bruna says:

    I used to have pretty strong headaches with the craving for chocolate before my period. I researched a little, and found out it could be a lack of zinc and magnesium. So I took a vitamin supplement, now i don’t even crave for chocolate on my period :)

  • V bailey says:

    Ok sooo… ive been eating clean for the past couple of weeks and now my period is due in a few days along with the stress of my workplace reopening all that has gone out the window and back to eating junk to cope 😭

  • Hollie Hitchcock says:

    Thanks Cassey, I totally agree😁. And though I did make the decision to stop eating anything with sugar. I still find myself occasionally craving it. So I eat fruit🍓🍇🍎🍏🍆🍑🍊🍋

  • Mehu says:

    Nice n useful article

  • Thanks for this on my part, i always want to eat sweet.

  • Shaina says:

    I always give in to cravings and feeling guilty afterwards. Weakness can be a strength. So, I challenge myself whenever my body tells me to eat something sweets. I overcome it but its an endless challenge 😅 Cassey is right to eat our cravings but in moderation. Thanks Cassey! You’re my fitness motivator. ❤

  • Nina says:

    Thank you for this informations.I just figured it out that I crave for sweets the most when I’m on my period.The strangest thing is that I don’t even like sweets,J eat it only on my period

  • Pearls says:

    This explains soo much, i just lost my granny few days back.. and since then I’ve not stopped eating, i know im an emotional eater, i crave chocolates then right after i crave something salty … Ive been noticing a change in my body..im gaining .. i stopped my workout too since that day!

  • Sheerah says:

    Thankyou 😍

  • Natalie says:

    Omg, thank you so much for this! Everything makes sense now.

  • Charity Anne Mitchell says:

    Am i the only one who actually craves getting full. I know that my body needs me to eat a little less than I used to because I was eating a lot. Over the two years that I have been trying to eat less I just really crave being full.

  • manisha oka says:

    I usually crave coffee, but most of the times it is because of habit…however at times it is when I feel frustrated ,not in control of the situation. Surprisingly ,though a stimulant ,it helps me relax ,clears my thinking and more often than not ,I have my solution to the pressing problem.

  • mlleazure says:

    I’ve always had chocolate cravings since I was a little kid. I could have it everyday for desert. I only ever get chocolate candy, ice cream, shakes/smoothies, cake, etc. I don’t even care much for other flavors. But I do notice the cravings are stronger around my period and when I’m upset.

  • Rebeca.SSM says:

    This article was perfect for me today. I’ve been trying hard on eating healthier but today I have been craving an in-n-out burger! but I have been drinking my water and eating my frozen yogurt bark I made last night.

    • Leaf_enby says:

      Okie so imma makes some points about my cravings etc..
      1. I don’t crave sugar, this might be a surprise but I generally don’t like sugar and I little bit tastes like a lot to me. So when I do crave sugar it’s in a form of coffee with sugar with milk.
      2. I absolutely love crunchy things which is understandable since I think I have anxiety and I usually need something to distract me like crunchy things and it might be a habit.
      3. So it’s atcually really hard for me to convince myself to snack as I look at it in a bad way and it sucks. Since I can’t eat smaller meals (family), I just don’t eat meals like breakfast and sometimes lunch, since my family usually has a calorie dense dinner that never makes me happy. So I of course snack afterwards which is bad :(

  • SR says:

    Sometimes i think i want to eat. Then it turns out that I am just tired and I need to sleep.

    • Natasha says:

      Oh my God this article was tailor made for me! Today post workout I was craving a steak salad. Enjoyed every bit of it. Thanks Cassie for this article!

  • Desiree says:

    My period is just about to hit and is super helpful. I’m 16 and I’m craving everything but I’m trying to get healthier. I think I’m gonna try those apple crisps 😄

  • M says:

    Interesting. I absolutely HATE bananas and an kind of nut butter generally but lately they are all I want to eat – and I started training the way I used to when I was an athlete about 2 months ago. So maybe I need magnesium?

  • tahreem sheikh says:

    i’ve successfully resisted the sweet cravings throughout quarantine!it’s tough to resist chai cause it’s more of an addiction than a craving.

  • CC_noona says:

    *me full of water, veggies, minerals, magnesium, iron, vitamins, caffeine* ,,sooo….when can I eat my chocolate exactly?” :D
    I have really hard time resisting snacking. My saviours, which are not the greatest, lately are nuts with apple, dried mango, coconut flakes, piece of 85% chocolate….but I still do reach for that chocolate bonbon sometimes…..well I have a long road ahead xD

  • Bunny_Cute_Kpop_Lover says:

    I crave for a cold bowl of cereal. I dont know why but i feel like i can eat it every morning.

  • Christina says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this Cassey! :D Definitely helps!!!!

  • Kat Wang says:

    Hey Cassey, lots of my great feedback to your amazing workout videos are on Youtube, but I wanna put my thoughts here in your personal blog: 1st I tried and successfully completed the juice challenge you mentioned–which is not a challenge for us, but for yourself, but I tried in anyways and today I weighed myself empty stomach after workout. During these 3 days of no meat, no carbs, no oil, just vegetables added juice smoothies, I have built up more muscles and lost more fat than ever! My weight was 104.8 pounds before, and today the weight is 102.2 pounds, with 35.8% muscles and 18.1% BMI, which are all improved VS before this diet!! OMG YOU ARE THE AMAZING ROLE Model (not one of, but the most awesome) of me persisting in both working out and having more nutritious meals!!!! In every workout video, when I feel sore, pain, can’t keep my legs straight up anymore, you said “muscle up your mind, make your mind stronger”–which is a total booster to my persistence. ALSO, in your food and nutritious videos, you mentioned people were commenting with lots of negative things the moment you posted dieting videos, weight loss videos (and lost many followers when saying something that just your own thoughts). What you shared really touches me, because we cannot prevent people posting comments to be very negative of what you said or done. But Honestly, I support your fitness dedication with all my heart, and you are a fabulous fitness coach! I have tried the ab challenges too, and now I am starting the legs and arms challenges! Thanks again Cassey!!

  • Bee says:

    I always crave PB and hummus it’s hard to go a day without and when I do I always binge eat this specific food later. I wish I had more control over these things…

  • Emily says:

    I have such a sweet tooth, always craving cookies or chocolate! I’m pretty good during the day, but after dinner I always crave a sweet treat! Xx

  • Linds says:

    i always crave pretzels. they’re crunchy and salty

  • Angel says:

    Wow! I knew about the sugar bit, but the rest is an eye opener to me. I never knew that you could crave something because you are dehydrated or you’re deficient in vitamins. This was most helpful thank you so much Cassey!

  • I sometimes crave fatty foods like bone marrow! Most often times it IS just a habit, so I try to surround myself with social connections and outdoor environments because that’s what truly nourishes my soul.banykne else feel?

  • Rose says:

    great advice Cassey!! Now I know I’m not the only one!

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