Believe it or not, food cravings can be a sign of intolerance to the food you crave.
Sometimes problematic foods give you a “high” because your body becomes somewhat addicted to the hormones histamine and cortisol that are released in response to the aggravating foods. Inevitably, what goes up must come down, and you are likely to experience a very low point after you consume these foods, for example headaches or negative changes in mood.
Those feelings, of course, can only be rectified by consuming more of the problem food in order to experience that “high” again. This is the cycle of cravings in motion.
It's diabolical, really. It can be difficult to reconcile that these “feel-good” foods are potentially not good for you.
I often see the food craving cycle in action when people go on an elimination diet and initially feel worse. The highs they were getting from problem foods are not there any more.
The good news is that if you are truly able to avoid the problematic foods, the associated cravings subside relatively quickly after you remove them from your diet and mood swings and other symptoms are alleviated.
One way to pinpoint your own feel-good foods? Be on the lookout for things you consume daily and feel anxious about giving up.
My new book The Athlete’s Fix will help you find your problem foods—and the foods that make you feel and perform your best. The Athlete's Fix offers a sensible, three-step program to identify food intolerances, navigate popular special diets, and develop your own customized clean diet that will support better health and performance.
Find The Athlete’s Fix in bookstores; bike, run, and tri shops; and online from VeloPress, Pip Taylor (Australian orders, please), Fishpond Australia, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, and your local independent bookseller.