Have you ever wondered why some people crave sweet things more than salty things?
Or why you have a voracious appetite for greasy, deep-fried foods when you’re stressed out? You might be interested to learn that what we crave speaks volumes about the deepest needs of our souls.
Food addiction is something that billions of people throughout the world struggle with each day. In fact, a 2011-2012 report on obesity in the United States revealed that over one-third of Americans struggle with food addiction – that is a staggering 78.6 million people.
So in this article today we’re going to look at the top three most tempting foods and approach each with a holistic perspective.
3 Types of Food Addiction + Their Deeper Meaning
Take a moment to consider the following question: What types of food tempt you the most? Are you enticed by the chocolates in the lolly aisle of your local supermarket? Are you tantalized by salty chips, pretzels or mixed nuts? Or perhaps you can’t resist fast food, pork sausages and pizza?
Every craving we have is linked to some deeper physiological and psychological need, and often our strongest and most persistent cravings reveal a great deal about our emotional states.
What is your food addiction?
The stereotype of the lonely, emotionally unstable chocoholic reveals a lot about the essential meaning of sweet cravings. How many times have you turned to lollies, chocolate, or other sweet things to soothe and comfort yourself? How many times have you seen friends, family members and others in your social circle hoard away pop rocks, bubble gum, candy drops, sour worms and other types of candy as a “treat” or to get through a tough day?
I certainly know that I turn to sweets (particularly chocolate brownies and cheesecake) when I’m under a lot of emotional strain. The strange thing is that I’ve never questioned why I do this until recently. Inevitably, I’ve discovered that the cause lies in my resistance and refusal to wholly experience what I am feeling – no matter how uncomfortable. So eating sweet things ends up becoming like a refuge to me because they allow me to enjoy the sweetness of life again – but not a genuine sweetness, an artificial one.
Sweet food, therefore, becomes like a bandage that conceals a much deeper issue: the inability to fully face, experience, accept and embrace tough emotions like anger, betrayal, bitterness, shame and grief, replacing these feelings instead with a superficial layer of momentary pleasure.
Potential Lesson: Explore alternative ways of dealing with your emotions openly and honestly. You might like to try meditation, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, energy healing and many other avenues of alternative healing. Above all, practicing self-acceptance and non-resistance is the best way to completely experience and therefore completely heal from uncomfortable emotions.
Salt is a very grounding element: it is present in the earth, it is present in the ocean and rain, and it is present in our bodies. Salt actually balances and controls our blood pressure, bodily fluids as well as nerve and muscle function, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to discover that people who crave salt usually also crave control and stability.
Out of all food addictions, salt is the one I personally struggle with the most. I absolutely love anything and everything savory, and find that I particularly crave salt when feeling “ungrounded” and psychologically stressed out.
If you’re a control-freak by nature and hate uncertainty, imbalance and instability, you might very well be a salt addict. Like a mineral fortress, I believe salt is unconsciously sought out by us to “solidify” ourselves, as the more salt our body has, the thicker our blood is and the harder our arteries are.
Also, I believe that naturally low-energy people who are prone to low blood-pressure (like me) inevitably crave salt more than sugar or fatty foods because of its grounding and strengthening effects.
Potential Lesson: Developing trust for the process of life can be a very difficult thing to do for it requires us to loosen our tight grip on existence. But the truth is that life is unpredictable, change is inevitable and struggle is inescapable. The sooner we develop a more humble and realistic attitude towards what we can truly control (our choices and attitudes), the more naturally grounded we will feel. Once again, learning to trust and be comfortable with what we truthfully can control requires the development of acceptance and non-resistance.
Our liver processes all of the fat that we consume, and the liver in many traditions is considered the seat of our inner power. Furthermore, the solar plexus chakra is located in the same place as the liver and is also connected to experiencing feelings of personal power vs. personal disempowerment (anxiety, bitterness, jealousy, etc.). Thus it has been suggested that people who crave fatty foods are essentially craving to exert their inner power, but often suffer from feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth.
Potential Lesson: Developing love for yourself is vital when trying to reclaim your personal power. How can you speak up and be heard without first valuing your own input? How can you be your own authentic self without first loving who that authentic person is? The greatest lesson for the fat craver is to find ways of getting in touch with that innate source of inner strength. Another way to reclaim your power is to reconnect with soulful essence of who you are through shamanic journeying, inner work and other forms of spiritual practice.
Food addiction is not solely about being greedy or gluttonous, but I believe that it also has deeper roots in our soulful cravings for authenticity, happiness and wholeness.
Next time you’re binging on something ask, “What is it that I truly need in this moment?” You might be surprised by what you discover.