Cravings! What do they really mean?

bliss point cravings fat fresh foods hunger nutrients salt sugar whole foods Mar 13, 2024

Most Struggle With Cravings

Many people struggle with cravings. Cravings can be so strong that it may be difficult to focus on anything else until they are satisfied. Understanding why you get cravings can help you better respond to their gnawing pull.

There are two main reasons we experience cravings:

The first, and probably most important reason we experience food cravings that they are signals from the body indicating a specific nutritional need related to essential elements like vitamins, minerals, or other key nutrients that the body requires for proper functioning. When the body needs nutrients, the brain sends out hunger signals. The brain hopes and expects that eating will provide the body with what is needed to function properly. However, if we do not consume high quality, nutrient dense food, the brain continues to send hunger signals. These strong signals become cravings. And the urge to eat persists. If we do not supply the body with the nutrients it needs, we will eat until we are more than full, we are stuffed!

The second reason for cravings is directly related to the highly processed foods taking over our grocery store shelves. They contain a calculated recipe of sugar, fat, salt and chemicals designed to stimulate the brain. These highly processed "foods" trigger a frenzy in the chemical s of our brain prompting us to eat more of this type of "food". Can you imagine eating only one seasoned chip or one double stuffed cookie? These products are designed to hit the "Bliss point" and give us momentary joy, by stimulating the brain. The "Bliss point" is the perfect combination of sugar, salt, and fat that makes us crave more. Our brains are stimulated when we eat these kinds of foods to the point of not being able to stop. These processed foods have been refined or stripped of their nutrients. They are usually enriched, which means they have added back just a few of the things that were removed, or never there to begin with. Unfortunately, a diet of highly processed foods lacks necessary nutrients and stimulates over eating. This pattern of eating results in extra weight gain and the risk of lifestyle related diseases.

Dealing with Cravings

Satiating either cause of craving with highly processed foods results in people who are both over fed and undernourished. The next time you feel persistent food cravings coming on, remember, what your body really needs to function properly is quality nutrients. So, first reach for something natural, whole and fresh. Consistently nourishing your body with nutrient packed real food will help quiet those cravings until they are barely a whisper. Cravings are strong. But now you know why they are there and how to deal with them!


Kelly Summers, is a Master Herbalist & Natural Healing Guide®. She knows that knowledge is empowering and deeply desires to share the insights she has learned through her continued journey of learning.



Greger, Michael. How Not To Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss. (Flatiron Books, NY: 2019). 

Lawless, Kristin. Formerly Known as Food: How the Industrial Food System is Changing Our Minds, Bodies, and Culture. (St. Martin's Press, NY: 2018).

Moss, Michael. Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit our Addictions. (Random House, NY: 2021).



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