One of the things every dieter knows is that people eat for other reasons besides hunger. I guess I have always accepted this food-as-panacea argument. After all, how would you test it? Make people stop having emotions and then see if they eat as much? I don’t see that flying with any Ethical Review Board. (You did know that all research on human beings has to pass muster with an ERB, right? Yep, that Stanley Milgram study with all the sadistic shocking of strangers
and weeping of commenters for generations afterward – totally passed an ERB.)
But I’ve never before heard of anyone trying to pinpoint a specific emotional need to a specific type of food. People say stuff all the time like “I’m an emotional eater. I eat to fill a void in my life. I eat to be happy, avoid pain, grieve, & celebrate.” And I believe them. Sometimes I feel the same way. So I was intrigued to find this list
of what your cravings mean from the patron saint of dieters: Oprah.
-Meat could mean you’re angry
-Sweets might be a sign of depression
-Ice cream might mean you’re anxious
-Salty snacks could mean you’re stressed
-Pasta might signal loneliness or sexual frustration
-All of the above might mean you’re just a little bit jealous
And you know what? It’s pretty true for me. I never crave meat and I’m rarely angry. Instead, I choose to channel that emotion inward thereby making me depressed – so much better!. And I totally crave sweets. My other predominant negative emotion is anxiety and ice cream is probably the #1 reason I don’t look like Heidi Klum. (Oh wait, I’m not blonde. And I have no boobs. Are you telling me she represents an unattainable physical ideal?! Noooooo! Next you’ll tell me she’s heavily airbrushed. Gimme those Mike & Ikes!!)
I never crave pasta. Ahem.
But who among us isn’t depressed, anxious, or stressed? The biggest factor in my cravings, I’ve discovered, is fatigue. When I’m tired, I crave that sweet sweet love of sugar – in any variety. If there’s nothing else in the house I will actually eat straight sugar sometimes. As in from a spoon. It’s not pretty but it’s the reality of having small children with no respect for circadian rhythms.
So now you know my secrets – what’s your take? Do your cravings line up with Oprah’s? If we all do, will she fly us out to be on her show?? We could all win cars! Think carefully, my friends, there’s a lot at stake here.