10 Reasons you crave junk food, how to stop them & Book Giveaway!

by Polly N on August 2, 2013

One of the hardest things about changing your diet is dealing with the cravings for food you know you shouldn’t be eating, but secretly want to! So far, over the last few weeks I have  shared 5 raw recipes for breakfast and lunch options to give you some ideas of what you could switch your current breakfast and lunch to instead. You can check out my Kickstart to Raw Series here.


In today’s post, I am introducing you to the beautiful and skilled raw food chef, Judita Wignall. This woman is making raw food extremely sexy. You only have to flick through her two gorgeous books to know that this woman is a genius in the kitchen. And not only that, but she also happens to be a kickass commercial actress, print model and musician from Los Angeles who has studied at the Living light Culinary Arts Institute. Oh and she’s kindly giving away a copy of her latest book “Raw & Simple“.

So today, I want to break down cravings and get down to the bottom of why we have them and how we can stop them. Below I am sharing a page from Raw & Simple on the 10 possible reasons we experience psychological cravings which can stem from a few things:

Mineral Deficiency

If we’re not eating a balanced diet, we may be lacking in the essential nutrients our body needs. Start your day with a mineral-rich green juice or green smoothie. Powdered green whole-food supplements are also great. When your body has all the nutrients it needs, it won’t be constantly hungry.

Food Chemical Addictions

Processed foods are created in such a wat that you will crave them again and again. This is by design. If you have a food that you say you can’t live without, then it is has an ingredients that is creating an opiate effect that you are addicted to. Even whole foods like cheese and wheat contain proteins that stimulate dopamine production. In processed foods it’s a bit more sinister, as MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, and aspartame are not only addictive but also harmful to the body. The best way to rid yourself of food chemical cravings is to go cold turkey with these junk food chemicals and let your taste buds discover new and exciting foods.

Lack of energy

One of the most common reasons we have cravings is because we are looking for energy. We often reach for sugar when we feel like we’re lagging; our body knows this is the fastest way to get energy. If it’s a late-night craving, I recommend just turning in. If it’s a mid-afternoon slump, I recommend a a little nap if you can swing it. Otherwise, drink a green juice or a protein shake. Green juice will oxygenate the blood and perk you up physically, while the amino acids will give you a mental boost.


We can often mistake dehydration for hunger, Whenever you get any kind of craving, always drink a tall glass of water first and wait a few minutes to see if you’re still hungry.

Low Leptin Production

Leptin is known as the hunger hormone. Formed in our fat cells, it signals the brain when we have had enough to eat. It also increases our appetite  when our fat (energy) reserves are low and reduces hunger when we have extra energy reserves. Have you ever had a big meal and an hour later felt like you were starving again? This means your leptin level is too low or you may be leptin resistant, which is when a high level of leptin circulates in the bloodstream but the body is immune to it. It’s very similar to insulin resistance, which is when the cells are no longer receptive to insulin. We can increase our leptin production and sensitivity to it naturally by not eating after dinner, getting enough sleep every night and eating a low-glycaemic, fibre-rich, non-inflammatory diet high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Candida Overgrowth

Candida thrives on sugar. As it proliferates throughout our body, its demand for sugar rises and cravings can become fierce. Eating probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut and coconut kefir can eliminate sugar cravings within days.

Dirty Mouth

Food left in our mouths after eating can stimulate cravings. If you can’t brush, chew some xylitol dental gum after meals.

Emotional cravings can come from stress, boredom, lack of joy and emotional pain.


Stress causes cortisol levels to rise, which creates intense food cravings and binging. Manage stress and lower cortisol be exercising regularly, going for walks, meditating, deep breathing or talking it out with a friend or loved one.


Boredom can lead to a cravings as well. If you’re eating because you’re bored do an activity that you love. Remember when you were a kid and you were too busy playing to stop and eat? Find things you love to do and get lost in them.

Emotional Pain

Emotional pain can lead to eating because we are lacking joy in our lives or numbing a painful feeling. This is only temporary and does nothing to fix a difficult situation. Dissatisfaction with a relationship, feeling unfulfilled in a career, lacking a sense of spiritual purpose – all of this and more can drive us to consume comfort foods, but only by taking action in those areas can we get to the root of emotional eating.

One final note on mastering your cravings

Eliminate all junk foods from your kitchen as “trigger” foods – foods that cause you to binge when you said you were only going to have just one. If there is a food that turns you into a Cookie Monster, then that food is no longer allowed in the house. This includes raw cookies and cakes.

With it being a Friday and normally sharing a recipe with you, today, I am sharing Judita’s recipe for Root Vegetable Slaw. Sadly my picture doesn’t quite do it justice and certainly doesn’t look similar to the beautiful picture in the book but it tasted great nonetheless and that’s all that matters.

Root Vegetable Slaw

slaw copy

  • 2 cups julienned beetroot
  • 2 cups julienned carrots
  • 2 cups julienned daikon radish or celery root (I used celery)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins (I used both)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1. Set the beetroot aside in their own small bowl and toss the remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.


  • 1/4 cup hazelnut or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour the mixture over the salad, reserving a small amount for the beetroot.

Add remaining dressing to the beets and gently incorporate them into the salad right before serving.

Health Note: Root vegetables are a great source of minerals and antioxidants, as well as being excellent blood purifiers and liver detoxifiers. They also contain emotional and physical grounding energy that can make us feel more focused and powerful. It’s a very similar energy to the kind meat eaters say they get from eating animal protein. 





To win this book, tell me in the comments below: 3 reasons that Judita suggests as reasons you might crave junk food

Giveaway closes Wednesday 7th August at 11.59PM.



If you would like to buy a copy of Raw & Simple, it’s available on Amazon here and on Judita’s website.

Connect with Judita here:

facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rawjudita

twitter – https://twitter.com/judita

instagram – http://instagram.com/the_scout





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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim August 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm

1. Habit – Trying to change my diet has been a hard task due to my previous routine of easy to buy, easy to grab junk.
2. Social life – Hectic social life, eating on the go, meeting friends for lunch/dinner has all caused me to want and consume junk.
3. Knowing I shouldn’t have it! Always want what you can’t have even if you know it’s bad for you. Your raw brownie recipe is helping to curve cake cravings though.


Ali August 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Great blog Polly and Judita’s recipe looks yum – I would love to win her book :) Boredom is probably the main reason for me craving junk food; a close second comes alcohol – a couple of wines and all sensible eating tends to fly out the window! The deficiency point you make is an interesting one – I have noticed that when I drink lots of green juices all I want to eat is salads and other healthy stuff… x


Anne August 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Interesting b.og Polly. 3 reasons Judita states are boredom, emotional pain & low pectin production. I can relate to all 3 of these and it would be great to win a copy of Raw & Simple. Perhaps it could help me feel more positive about things generally….x


polly August 16, 2013 at 5:28 pm

hi anne! CONGRATULATIONS! You won the giveaway! Please send your postal address to info@pollynoble.com. thank you!


sally Bird August 2, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Stress, Energy, Dehydration hope that ok x


Belinda Heflin August 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I love Judita! She is just so real and talented. I have learned through experience that her advice on cravings hit the mark. Mineral deficiency, chemical addiction, and dehydration can sneak up on you without warning. Thank you for the opportunity to win her book!


Lisa J August 2, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Great giveaway!

Reasons are dehydration, stress, emotional pain


Kat August 3, 2013 at 8:45 am

1) emotional: there is a lot of past and present drama I need to deal with
2) mineral insufficiency: I do need to up my calories…I eat well, but not enough
3) food addictions: I am addicted to chocolate, but strangely raw chocolate doesn’t do it for me, I don’t like it…


Debi August 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

1 – STRESS (this applies to me 100%, when I’m stressed my ‘mind’ craves junk).
2 – EMOTIONAL PAIN (Feeling low seems to zap your strength to follow a healthy living plan 24/7)
3 – LACK OF ENERGY (Having M.E & Fibromyalgia my bad days definitely see me wanting sweet junk – found a great juice recipe via Jason Vale using yogurt,pineapple,banana, spirulina and an apple. On days I can function, that is my go to sweet fix, its yummy!)


Lindsay August 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Three things that I can relate to: lack of energy, boredom, and candida overgrowth. Only keeping healthy foods in my pantry is a great way to keep my cravings in check!


Theresa Bond August 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Great article as usual Polly, my answer is –
Candida Overgrowth
Emotional Pain


Dominique August 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Emotional pain, dehydration, boredom.


Helena August 4, 2013 at 4:59 am

Would love to get this great book “Raw & Simple”.

Three possible reasons why I might be craving junk food are mineral deficiencies, dehydration and stress.


Alan Lee August 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm



Holly Babuik August 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Thanks Polly. looks like a great book and would assist me in my goal to be happier and healthier. 3 reason for cravings:
-mineral deficiencies
– dehydration
– lack of energy


Cesar August 6, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Lack of energy : I suffer from chronic vertigo
Stress. : I suffer from chronic vertigo
Boredom. : I suffer from chronic vertigo

Oh did I mention I suffer from chronic vertigo ??


Eme Ross August 7, 2013 at 3:52 am

This is a great giveaway to help toward a healthier lifestyle! Three reasons for cravings are;

Food chemical addictions
Emotional pain
Mineral deficiencies


Linda Christian August 7, 2013 at 10:09 am

Stress; Food Addiction & Emotional Pain


AnaG August 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Great Giveaway.
My reasons for craving are stress, emotional pain, and mineral insufficiency.


Alena August 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Really nice article.
For me there are 3 reasons:
– mineral deficiency
– lack of energy
– stress


Alena August 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Really nice article.
Lack of energy, stress, mineral deficiency


Jamie August 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I would love to kick start a new way of eating because of 1. lack of energy, 2. mineral deficiencies, and 3. stress. I am so looking forward to completing college in 5 weeks after 5 years, 2 babies, job loss, and a boat load of stress – not only on me buy my family. I am ready to start exercising again and I am starting to believe raw food is the way to go to combat my cravings for junk food!!


Jola August 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Great post. I have probably experienced cravings due to all of the above reasons and I guess the most common for me are boredom, emotional issues and mineral deficiency.


Carmen Z. August 14, 2013 at 11:18 pm

As far as Leptin in concerned: Eating slowly is one great strategy to tell your brain you are full…Here’s a little more info on resetting leptin. Fat cells are very metabolically active. They release and receive a variety of different hormones like leptin. The more body fat one carries, the more leptin that person has and vice-versa. The leaner someone is, the less leptin he or she will have. While it’s easier for an obese person to peel off the pounds faster, leaner individuals have a hard time burning off the last few pounds. A study done by Guerra, et.al. 2011 pointed out that to “reset” leptin levels one must exercise in a “fasted” state. Researchers found that a single sprint training session had powerful effects on leptin “signaling” in the fasted group.


Lindsay August 15, 2013 at 12:51 am

Hi Polly, did you ever decide a winner?!


polly August 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm

yes Anne won. Sorry you didn’t win this time but I shall be giving away plenty in coming months. x


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