There are many articles around the web, printed in various newspapers and magazines they each give their advice on cravings and how its either a weakness of yours if you give in or some other thing if you don’t give in or do just a little.
Well I for one can’t say its good or bad to give in because to me it all depends on what it is you are giving into and the reasons behind giving into that craving that makes the difference. Why do I feel or even think this? Simple because to me cravings have their place within a healthy lifestyle and for some people can actually be helpful indicators to what the body is needing (regardless of what some science sites and studies say on the matter).
You seen when I have a craving there is always a reason for it, I use to crave Beef and Broccoli and when I did I knew my iron levels where on the low side (and yes tests proved me to be right) so I’d ramp up my eating of foods that are high in iron and poof there would go the craving.
If I had craving for sticky rice to me it meant that I was craving more carbs thus the best way to ditch the craving was to increase my intake of carbs, even if that meant having an extra apple, grapes or some other fruit or veggie that would be a good carb load (though I do admit to giving in to having the rice, but I also found wild rice did do the trick and a small amount with a meal actually wasn’t a bad option on occasion).
If I had a craving for chips or the like it tends to mean I’ve not been getting much salt in my daily deal (I don’t cook or add salt to anything and I don’t eat a lot of packaged foods, as a result eating under 500 mg a day in sodium is not uncommon) so I’d either have a few chips or grab a smart single bag of popcorn and enjoy it that or have a serving of miso soup which would give me the sodium kick but also be semi healthy in the process (by semi I mean at least the miso broth had some nutritional value over what the chips or popcorn has).
For me I always found a reason for my cravings – how I learned this was if I had a craving I’d think about why I was craving what I was craving, I’d go though various foods and if I kept coming back to the same food time and time again then I’d look up that food and see what nutrients they where high in or the like and if there was a more healthy option for those deals I found eating the more healthy option would cure that craving, take the the craving for iron rich foods it was a common deal for me when I was bleeding but since that’s over with the craving have disappeared completely (that and my iron levels are back to normal).
Yes there are still other cravings which have no meaning or basis when it comes to anything my body is low on or needs, they are just that cravings that have no rational need or meaning, they just are there without rhyme or reason. Many of these types of cravings I still go though the process of asking myself why am I craving this particular food or groups of foods and a lot of the time it just comes down to the fact I’ve not had it in a while and its just something I’d like to have again.
These types of cravings I do give into, but its more along the lines of I give into it when the time is right to do so, like a special occasion or the like where having such an indulgence isn’t out side of the norm or if I can share the indulgence with another it becomes a little more possible, because I’ve also found that just having a little bit of the taste of the item tends to be enough to cure the craving – like a few weeks ago I was craving sweet n sour spear ribs, N went and got himself an order of them because he wished a treat I asked if he would save two for me – he did, he actually save 4 for me and the two I asked for cured the craving and the other two well they just where a nice indulgence, but since feeding that craving I’ve not had any further cravings for such food.
Other cravings I found are related to my allergies to the item like I use to crave a tall glass of milk and if I went a day or so without it I’d go nuts with drinking it as soon as I had a chance to do so, only to end up with issues that took me a few years to figure out, going cold turkey and learning that lactose and me are not friends went a long way in me learning that my craving for dairy hurting my body, but finding alternative means of getting what daily offers the cravings have almost disappeared they are still there here and there, but the desire to drink a liter of milk in a single sitting has gone on the back burner – thus this to me is an example of a craving that wasn’t healthy but since at the time I didn’t understand the connection I gave in to it and paid for it.
Thus I say giving in to a craving might not always be a bad thing depending on what the craving is for and why you are craving that particular food. I know some people just crave various foods for no other reason they they crave them and well that is something that if that is the case you need to work out for yourself – can you figure out why you crave it? Is there a medical reason as to why this might be the case or is it related to something that is happening in your life, like if you are under a lot of stress does this type of food equal comfort or the like if so finding another food which triggers the same feelings but on a healthier level might be a good substitute to look into.
Regardless to me a craving isn’t always a bad thing to have, its how you tend to deal with the craving that is the issue and how it impacts your ability to function on a day to day basis.