When a chocolate fix hits so intensely that you feel like you’ll scream if you don’t get a candy bar, it’s easy to blame it on your sweet tooth or stress. But food cravings may actually be a clue that you’re longing for something not found in a grocery store, says Sophie Skover, author of The Continuous Appetite. “Most compulsive food cravings are an indication that something in your life is out of balance.”
Learn what your hunger pangs may be trying to tell you so you can find other ways to satisfy your true cravings—and avoid unnecessary calories.
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When you’re jonesing for chocolate, stop and evaluate how your sleep has been lately. “When tired, many people crave carbohydrates for a quick energy boost since carbs are our main source of fuel,” says explains Elizabeth DeRobertis, R.D., who practices in Westchester, New York. And simple carbs, such as sugar and white bread, are digested quicker than complex ones such as whole grains and beans, so the energy kicks in sooner.
Unfortunately that sugar “high” lasts as long as a your guy's attention span when you try to chat during a football game, and it leads to an inevitable crash—but few people can fit a nap into their day. As an alternative, go take a walk. In a University of Georgia study, people who worked out at a low-intensity for 20 minutes reported a 65 percent drop in feelings of fatigue.