Understanding the Mind: Why We Crave

kit yoon

When we have a craving for certain foods, it feels as if we have no control over our actions. Cravings feel urgent and important. For instance, you may crave something sweet every day at 4 pm. Most of the time, you will satisfy this craving with something sweet without questioning why, or even knowing that you’ve done it. Eating out of a craving feels automatic and unstoppable.

Do you know why you have cravings at all?

First and foremost, it’s a sign that your brain is functioning properly.

Your brain’s main purpose is to keep you alive. When it senses “danger” – real or not – it will protect you in ways that had helped you in the past. Why? Because voila – you are still alive!

To keep you alive, the brain seeks pleasure, avoids pain and does it as fast as possible.

A sweet craving is really a message from your brain to kick in a protective mechanism to keep you safe.

Even if the ‘unsafe’ situation is boredom or fatigue at 4 pm (brain just knows you’re experiencing discomfort), it will seek pleasure to avoid that perceived pain. It wants to perform the task as efficiently as possible – hence the urgency and automatic behaviours that ensued.

The brain will repeat this mechanism until you give it a different message.

If you pause to notice your cravings, you will realize that they are merely sensations in your body and a message in your brain. Both of them can be acknowledged and not satisfied. They are, in fact, not urgent, and stoppable.

You can experience a craving and not actually eat the food. Did you know that?

Overtime when you repeat this practice, the brain will receive the new message and no longer tap into the same protective mechanism. Four o’clock will come and go with no drama in your head.

But it’s so hard to change, you may think.

And you’re correct. It’s hard, but not impossible.

I’m going to be offering a tool to help with these cravings soon!

Stay tuned, I think it’s going to change your life!



Ready to move forward in your health and wellness journey? Contact me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. Elizabeth Wypasek says

    I have heard the call of craving and have not caved!! I had picked up the book Eat, Live, Thrive from the library and have been studying for my NASM Certified Nutrition Coach test. I love all that I am learning and am finding it easier to reprogram my brain to create new healthy habits.

    The sugar reset in conjunction with these other available tools has really opened my eyes to eating in a whole new way. Thanks Kit!

    Liz W

    • kityoonlac@gmail.com says

      Yes! Reprogramming our brain is a skill that helps create new habits. It’s not always easy… but always worth it. Thanks for sharing your journey, Liz!