The lesson here is to look for the foods, deficits and behaviors in your life that bare the underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view cravings as weaknesses, when in reality they are important messages meant to help you maintain balance. It all comes down to trusting your body, instead of thinking of your cravings as an enemy, to be ignored or defeated.
We have been taught to believe that our inability to stick with a diet, is our fault. A flaw of our body and our will. This is absolutely incorrect. Diet book authors claim that if we want to lose weight and regain health, we must conform to their rules and control our cravings for foods they deem unhealthy. To do this we must develop deep discipline over our natural instincts. We accept these ideas even though every other diet we have been on is unsuccessful. We start the newest program with the best of intentions, determined to make good this time. Again and again we repeat this cycle, blaming ourselves when the part of us that directs our food choices asserts itself, showing once again that it cannot be disciplined, controlled, suppressed or denied.
Increasingly we find ourselves craving “illegal” foods until one day we fall off the diet, giving in to our cravings for bread, chocolate, meat, sugar, whatever foods have been forbidden. Afterward we feel guilty and worthless, and blame ourselves for failing to stick to the diet, which seemed so simple, so promising just a few weeks ago. Its never the programs fault; its always our fault. Or so we think. It never dawns on us that there’s nothing wrong with us, that maybe the diet itself is flawed – that it actually sets us up to fail, and then unfairly lays the responsibility on our shoulders when we do.
The part that cannot be controlled is actually our inner guide to health and happiness. This innate wisdom is always trying to make us feel better by urging us to eat foods that will dissipate, at least temporarily, our physical tension, give us more energy and lift our moods. In essence, this part of us is always monitoring our physical, emotional and psychological conditions and struggling to create balance, harmony and happiness. Cravings are the body’s solution to underlying imbalances, and food becomes a kind of medicine to regulate our current inner state.
Source: Integrative Nutrition by – Joshua Rosenthal