What Do Food Cravings Mean Emotionally? Unveil The Mysteries


Eat your feelings! You have often heard people say that isn’t it?

Don’t you feel the urge to grab a packet of chips when you are in a tough spot at work? Or fill your mouth with generous amounts of ice cream when you are pensive?

Of course, you have! Everyone has such food cravings that are triggered by emotions. Specialists call this phenomenon Emotional Eating. 

Studies say that people don’t eat only when they are hungry. Emotions than hunger trigger cravings.

What’s even surprising is that several different emotions trigger the urge to consume different types of food! These include junk food, sweets, chocolates, and many more.

Emotional Eating

Since young ages, we have been made to understand that good food is a sort of reward. This creates a zone of comfort whenever we eat the food we prefer.

Emotional Eating

Your emotions, be it happiness, anger, anxiety, or stress, cause the release of specialized hormones. This increases your urge to feast on your favorite food.

Sometimes it so happens that you don’t even understand what you are feeling. However, even a small and insignificant event seems to cause a trigger and outburst due to all the tension constantly bubbling inside.

Hence, at some point in time, it is essential to understand what your food cravings mean. You will understand what is disturbing you if you understand your cravings properly.

Don’t worry, and we are here for you! Below is a list of generalized food cravings and what states of mind trigger them. This will help you to understand your emotions!

What Do Your Cravings Mean?

Some of us like sweets, some prefer salty, crunchy goodness, and some opt for whole meals and stuff their tummies till all the worry washes away!

Let’s decipher what these food cravings mean to a person emotionally: 

●   Sweet Food Cravings

Numerous studies have demonstrated how sugar can impact the same brain areas as drugs and alcohol.

This is because simple carbs, like sugar, break down more quickly than complex carbohydrates, providing an instant energy boost.

People who crave sugar tend to feel worn out frequently and have an endless list of things to accomplish.

They hardly have any free time to pursue their interests. They often have so little time for themselves that they skip meals, which causes their blood sugar to fluctuate.

However, this brief mood boost is typically followed by a severe decline. This prompts people to grab another sugary treat and creates an obsessive loop.

●   Excess Salt

When your stress levels are high for a long time, and your adrenal glands cannot produce enough aldosterone, your body craves salt. Aldosterone is a hormone that aids in sodium retention in the body.

Your body can become dehydrated if your sodium levels are low since it won’t be able to absorb the water properly.

As the body’s way of requesting natural sea-based nutrients, a craving for salt may also be linked to an iodine deficiency.

●   High Levels Of Spice

People who have frequent spice cravings are probably seeking passion and action in their life. Because they are adventurous, they may be bored to tears while their true yearning is to be crying for joy and excitement.

When you feel the urge to consume something spicy, you start considering methods to “spice up” your life.

This might be simply by employing your intuition. Spicy foods not only inspire action but also stimulate the imagination and our capacity for intuition.

●   Coffee

People feel a call to action in their minds while they are craving excess amounts of coffee! They want to be present, in the thick of it all, analyzing and taking in as much data as possible.

But the main cause of all that mind acrobatics is mental fatigue. Caffeine offers the sense that it keeps everything together and keeps us intellectually alert, but when used excessively throughout the day, it wears us out more.

Get A Hold On Your Emotional Eating

Sometimes your emotional eating can take a toll on you. Constant consumption of unhealthy foods deteriorates your health conditions further.

Studies find that most emotional eaters don’t have any track of how often and how much they are consuming. This is giving rise to unhealthy food addictions and obesity.

Hence, emotional eating must be kept in check. Your stress, anger, and anxiety can be dissipated by non-food alternatives like music, a little walk, or any other passionate hobby. This way, your food cravings will be kept in check, allowing you to live a healthy lifestyle!

Dr. Germana Barata is a research associate of the ScholCommLab and a dedicated science communication researcher at the Laboratory of Advanced Studies in Journalism (Labjor) and the Centre for the Development of Creativity (Nudecri) at the University of Campinas (Unicamp) in Brazil. With a Master’s and PhD in History of Science from São Paulo University, Dr. Barata is a respected scholar who has been awarded a productivity research fellowship in science communication at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in Brazil.

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