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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A handful of nuts a day can be a healthy snack, but it can also hint to an inner frustration and irritation, says Skover. “The act of chewing and cracking the food in your mouth can momentarily release that angst, but the problem is the second that the crunching stops, the frustration returns—and many people go back to eating more and can end up polishing off an entire bag of chips.”
A better way to release that tension is to punch a punching bag or do any kind of exercise, which will release endorphins to boost your mood, DeRobertis explains. Or put in your earbuds: Several studies have shown that relaxing music really does relieve stress. “And pack carrot sticks to have on-hand when you want a healthier crunchy snack,” DeRobertis adds.