• María Cecilia Pfund, MS

What Causes Food Cravings?

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

The more we learn about food cravings, the more prepared we will be to prevent them and manage them when they occur. There are many theories since there are many factors that contribute to them.

Therefore, each of them may apply for different occasions. Below is a list of the main theories.

[if !supportLists]- [endif]Nutrient deficiency

[if !supportLists]- [endif]Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

[if !supportLists]- [endif]Emotional instability (stress, anxiety, boredom, etc.)

[if !supportLists]- [endif]Hormones, especially during menstruation and pregnancy

[if !supportLists]- [endif]Diets that are too restrictive or monotonous, and eliminate certain food groups or foods

Now, think back on your last food craving and consider what may have caused it. As a side note, during these unprecedented times we are at increased risk for emotional instability, so even if this is not a cause for food cravings for you at this time, be conscious of it and find healthy ways to manage it because emotional health is closely linked to physical health. Once you identify the cause/s, you will be better prepared to come up with a plan that would best work for you. If you haven’t already, I invite you to read the previous blog postings for more information about food cravings.

Take-Home Message: Understanding the causes of food cravings is essential to better define and address obstacles in managing them. Theories of food craving causes include nutrient deficiency, hypoglycemia, emotional circumstances and strict diet.


Winchester Hospital. (n.d.). Food cravings. https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=13944

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