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  • Writer's pictureSarah Holgen MS, CNS

3 Types of Food Cravings and what they really mean.

Did you know that only 2/3 of languages have a word for craving? And cravings in other languages refer to addiction?

Why are Americans suffering from craving epidemics? If you listen to any commercial it’s “cravings menu”...”late night cravings”... “satisfy your cravings” so what are we really craving?!!

3 main types of cravings:

1. True Hunger craving: Your body actually needs food. Eat a balanced meal or snack and adequate water.

2. Boredom craving: You are craving food because you are bored and maybe there is a lack of excitement in ones life (at the moment): relationships, new experiences or new learning is lacking in your life and leads to wanting to taste something delicious as a source of entertainment or “something to do”. Do something stimulating like exercise, get creative, do some chores, practice self care, massage, learn a new language or musical instrument. You’re really craving EXCITEMENT!

If you experience physical symptoms of hunger like uneasy stomach, light headedness, weakness, growling stomach and guts, then you might actually be hungry. Over time observe yourself and learn to distinguish between being hungry and being bored. If you are hungry, EAT!

3. Comfort food is a real thing. Hunger for joy and *especially* comfort. When we feel unsafe, uncomfortable with circumstances, insecure or sadness in our lives our natural instinct is to seek joy but all too often instead of turning to each other, turning to gods love or developing relationships with loved ones or doing things that set your soul on fire we use food as a scape goat to feel comfortable and happy. Those chocolate chip cookies or donut holes are always there for us and always taste amazing and comforting when you come home from your job that you dislike. Talk about a vicious circle. Here’s an idea 💡if you explore why you are feeling like you need comfort (instead of using food) then at the end of the day you won’t need to compensate by using food to fill your comfort void. The problem isn’t food, it’s a basic need of yours that is not being met. So maybe find out why you are seeking comfort! Does your partner make you feel uncomfortable, your boss, are you uncomfortable with where you are at in life? Why do you seek comfort or happiness in food? Just explore the reason why for yourself.

But.... isn’t it amazing to know that we are in control of our own lives!! What are some other things that are comforting to you besides food? Cuddling? Taking a bubble bath? Enjoying taking a walk in the sunshine or making a meal with a dear friend? Maybe taking a nice cozy nap is more comforting than food? Explore for yourself and food will no longer be the focus, and you can start to improve the rest of your life too.


Just some thoughts to explore as to why we eat and what our cravings may or may not mean. Whenever I bring up the topic of cravings it can hit home or be a trigger for some people. The greatest gift we can give ourselves is fully and completely accepting ourselves for who we truly are. Being aware of your thoughts and actions and still acting out old patterns is still okay, it is simply the acknowledgement that you know what you are doing. You will and can change when you are ready.

What did this article make you think about?

In good health,



Hormes JM, Rozin P. Does "craving" carve nature at the joints? Absence of a synonym for craving in many languages

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