Many of us experience all different types of cravings such as late afternoon craving for sweets or the just get home from work to an empty house and want some sweets craving. There is also the nice cold drink on a summer day or salty foods craving. You get the point. Here are three causes of cravings discussed in the book Integrative Nutrition: Feed your Hunger for Health and Happiness. 1. Dehydration. By the time your body craves water you are fully dehydrated. That’s not good. An early sign of dehydration is a mild craving for food. So instead of grabbing that sugary snack, drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes to see if you are really hungry. 2. Lifestyle. Being dissatisfied with a relationship, having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job or lacking a spiritual practice can all contribute to emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill a void. Sometimes we are in a place where we want to feel like a child or have a memory from the past that when we eat a certain food it brings us back to that place and we feel safe, loved or happy again. Dig deeper to find your value from the past that is not fulfilled and when you figure out how to fulfill it in your life, you won’t crave that item. 3. Lack of Nutrients. Many of us aren’t getting enough protein and fats or aren’t digesting and absorbing them. For example, if you find yourself craving sugar later in the day you probably didn’t eat enough protein for breakfast or had too many carbs which is quick burning and not sustaining. If you aren’t feeding your body proper nutrients, it will crave what it needs or what it knows is the fastest way to get it. We should feed our bodies protein and fats for energy, but most people’s bodies are used to carbs for energy. If your energy is low your body will crave carbs or sugar because it is afraid you are starving it, but a better option would be a slow energy release protein, fat, veggie or fiber snacks that will give your body what it needs.