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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 06, 2007

How to Dog Whisper Your Food Cravings

By Sara
12 Comments

Warm, fudgy chocolate cake.

Melt-in-your-mouth fettuccine alfredo.

An icy flute of champagne.

Gee, thanks a lot, MDA.

Whether it’s for garlic knots or a tuna melt, the temptation to indulge in delicious but unhealthy fare catches up with even the most disciplined among us from time to time. (Except Mark. He’s immune. It just took a lot of ice cream to develop.)

The body tends to crave what it is used to, which is why breaking out of the chips ‘n cookie regimen foils so many folks. There is a silver lining, however: given enough practice, you’ll actually miss brussels sprouts and feel sickened by ice cream. You just have to habituate your body. Many times, “cravings” that we experience are not indicators of any real nutritional need the body has, but simply a powerful psychological response to a habit gone cruelly unfed.

That said, sometimes a strong craving for a certain food (coughchocolatecough) can signal that you may be in need of a particular nutrient. Mark’s Daily Apple to the rescue: when you feel the urge to nosh on something you just know you shouldn’t, there’s guaranteed to be a healthy alternative. Take charge of those cravings and make them work for you, not against you!

When you are just about ready to kill for:

Salty foods like chips and pizza – you may just need some tryptophan or chloride. Try organic cheese, unsalted cottage cheese, fish, sweet potatoes (or yams), spinach, and authentic sea salt.

Click for the recipe! Yum!

Doeth Flickr Photo (CC)

Chocolate – you may be in need of magnesium. Instead, eat…chocolate! Yes! (Or nuts. But chocolate is actually healthy, if it’s dark and eaten in small doses.)

Bite me!

Sarah Reed Flickr Photo (CC)

Sugary snacks and starches such as donuts and bread – you might be dehydrated. Drink some water and get a little nutritional acid by way of a piece of fruit, such as an apple.

Don't you wanna be there right now?

Aquave1vet’s Flickr Photo (CC)

Carbonated beverages – you might need to up your mineral intake. Try spinach, kale, collard greens, and legumes.

Pick me! Pick me!

Kevin Donahue Flickr Photo (CC)

Fatty foods – some sources will tell you to drink water and eat fruit, but we say eat that fat! Fat is nutritious: it aids digestion, improves vitamin absorption, and can even boost brain health. Just watch the salt. Good fats: fish, olive oil, nuts, butter, cream, eggs.

Butter beans. Now those are beans we like!

In Praise of Sardines’ Flickr Photo (CC)

Are you overeating or feeling general cravings? You may need tyrosine, found in citrus fruits. You might also be in need of a shot of zinc, so have a grass-fed steak or shellfish such as shrimp or oysters.

Citri?

Jim Moran Flickr Photo (CC)

Craving candy? You may need sulfur, you inflammatory little nugget, you. Try garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or brussels sprouts. And pineapple works wonders.

Sprout me.

Esteban Cavrico Flickr Photo (CC)

Outsmart your body. You are the alpha, so you best be dog whisperin’ those wacky cravings!

Whether your specific craving signals a nutritional deficiency, hormonal imbalance, or simply a pesky bad habit you went and taught yourself, choosing healthy alternatives will satisfy your body’s needs and retrain your brain to get excited about things like lettuce. Which really isn’t so bad, now, is it? As Mark always says, vegetables don’t meow, people.

Further reading:

Smart Fuel

Interesting Vegetables

Source 1

Source 2

[tags] common cravings, healthy snacks, deficiencies, food [/tags]

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12 Comments on "How to Dog Whisper Your Food Cravings"

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[…] With the question of cravings in mind, Mark Sisson’s Daily Apple produced this very good checklist for those suffering hunger pangs for certain types of the bad stuff. There’s good news for chocolate-lovers, so do go investigate Mark’s site. There is a great post today about how pumpkin extract may prove to be a natural means to help reverse diabetes. […]

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[…] will hit the page tomorrow, because for today we’re bringing you some more can’t-miss weight loss tips. So easy, a pizza could do […]

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[…] emotional attachment, but it could also be your body telling you needs something.  Check out this article about “cravings” on Mark’s Daily […]

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6 years 5 months ago

[…] is a Primal eating promoter (similar but different than Paleo) and here describes potential specific cravings and possible correlates. While research supporting a causal […]

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[…] per Mark’s Daily Apple—> http://www.marksdailyapple.com/food-cravings/    “When you are just about ready to kill for salty foods like chips and pizza – you may […]

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[…] to make the diet changes for better health, but I learn all sorts of great information. This post on cravings has been extremely helpful in identifying what I really need to eat. Flickr Image […]

Jo-Anne
Jo-Anne
4 years 5 months ago

I have been wanting this list for a long time….thank you thank you thank you…

John Limpus
4 years 4 months ago

Thanks Mark,

Really useful info.

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[…] cloves, garlic, onion, citrus, vinegars, pomegranate, berries, cherries, and cocoa.In addition, an article on the web site Mark’s Daily Apple provides the following substitutions for carb cravings:•    If you crave salty foods such as […]

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[…] garlic, onion, citrus, vinegars, pomegranate, berries, cherries, and cocoa. In addition, an article on the web site Mark’s Daily Apple provides the following substitutions for carb cravings: •    If you crave salty foods such […]

Gagh
Gagh
2 years 1 month ago

Could it really be true I can quit my potato chips obsession?

Thank you so much for this artikel.
I now have no excuses.
All I can say now is “I really want to indulge”.

Walter Bushell
Walter Bushell
1 year 3 months ago

Instead of an apple and water for sugary and starchy foods, perhaps some apple cider vinegar diluted? Fermented food and acid at that.

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