14 August 2008


Some of the thin chicks I talk to have trouble keeping weight on because they don't crave food. Eating is a chore for them. I am not one of those chicks.

I love eating. I love cooking. I love food in general. I have cravings all the time, and they fall in two categories: hunger cravings and nibble cravings. Being able to recognize the difference at the time of the craving is one of the things that keeps me from over-eating.

With hunger cravings, I usually haven't eaten in a while, and I'm looking for any kind of food to fill me up. These cravings can be for a specific food, but more often it's a more general feeling of want, like, "I want something savory," or "I'm craving fruit." Giving in to this type of craving is good, because this craving is my body notifying my brain that continued lack of sustenance will result in mutiny. Nobody wants my stomach to start gnawing on my pancreas just because I forgot to eat.

Nibble cravings can be tricky to identify, though I've found that they usually come about half an hour after a meal. Last night, for example, I had sausage for dinner, and then found myself craving more. I checked with my stomach, which was full from the first helping, and it became clear that this wasn't really a craving for food. I just wanted something to nibble on. Gum doesn't work, because this type of craving is almost always for something savory, and isn't satisfied if I simply chew and spit out the food.

Learning how to identify my cravings has helped me maintain my weight and, oddly enough, keep track of my mood shifts. I tend to have more nibble cravings when I'm depressed because I'm looking for enjoyment (chewing and swallowing food) instead of nourishment. It's nice when self-awareness pays off in multiple ways.

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