recurring food cravings can mean more than a lust for certain flavors. They’re often a signal from central control — aka that beautiful brain of yours — that something is out of balance. And we don’t mean that truffle fries to salad ratio.
According to a new book by nutrition expert and bestselling author Julia Ross, The Craving Cure, hacking our appetite is actually a pretty simple and scientific process. Her approach treats food addiction where it starts by building up our natural appetite-regulating neurotransmitters with targeted nutrients called amino acids— and it starts with the quiz below.
These questions will help you identify the relationship your mind and body has to your food cravings on a deep level so you can start reclaiming control. Click though for some fascinating personal insight, then pick up a copy of Julia’s book for tips to take that nutrition ambition to the next level…
The Craving Cure Quiz:
Which Type of Craver Are You?
How it Works: In the boxes below, rank each symptom on a scale of 1-10 based on your experience. 1 being “no issue at all” and 10 being a “severe issue”. Review your answers once you’ve ranked each symptom. If your scores are mostly over 3 in any given section, you likely have that food craving and should learn more about the given amino acid.
DEPRESSED CRAVER: Are your cravings caused by a deficiency of serotonin, your brain’s inner sunshine?
You have more cravings for foods in the afternoon or evening.
You feel negative and depressed (may be worse in winter).
You tend to have anxiety, worry, or panic.
You have low self-esteem.
You have obsessive thoughts or behaviors.
You feel edgy or irritable.
You are a night owl; have disturbed sleep.
CRASHED CRAVER: Are your cravings caused by blood sugar drops?
You are hypoglycemic, you tend to have low blood sugar.
You often crave sugar or starch if you go too long without full meals.
You feel irritable, shaky, stressed, inattentive, or headachy if you go too long without real food.
COMFORT CRAVER: Are your cravings caused by a deficiency of naturally pleasuring endorphins?
You crave a reward, pleasure, or numbing from certain foods.
You are sensitive to emotional pain or have chronic physical pain.
You have frequent feelings of grief, sadness, or loneliness.
You cry or tear up easily.
STRESSED CRAVER: Do you crave because your brain’s levels of calming GABA are too low?
You crave foods for stress relief.
You have stiff , tense muscles.
You are unable to relax, loosen up, be still.
You feel burned out or overwhelmed.
FATIGUED CRAVER: Do you crave because you’re deficient in your naturally stimulating catecholamines?
You crave sugary or caffeinated foods or drinks for energy or focus.
You feel apathetic, bored, or flat without them.
You lack energy, drive, or concentration.
Gather more information about decoding and controlling food cravings with these pro tips!