Emotional craving means that you crave not for the food but for the associations you have with that specific food.
For instance a warm meal reminds you of a family moment.
A glass of red wine brings you back to social memories with friends.
A chocolate bar reminds you of the comfort you felt.
All these are emotional cravings.
When you respond to that emotional craving, your goal is not to give your body an ingredient it misses, it is to generate in your being a given emotion.
Of course, you know that the emotion itself will trigger a chain of biochemical reactions in your brain and body.
So there is of course, even in the case of emotional cravings and physical aspect to it.
I would say though that the core of that experience is emotional rather that physical.
With physical cravings, the core of your craving is the physical need for a given compound.
For instance when you feel like having an orange, you might be physically thirsty + need a vitamin C boost.
If you feel like having cheese, you might need extra fat or protein.
If you want coffee, you physically want to give your body a caffeine kick.
The craving is PHYSICAL rather than emotional.
Of course, the distinction we make now is often not as clear in real life and both physical and emotional craving will merge in one single desire for a specific food.
The reason why I make this distinction is because the strategies to tackle this two types of cravings are quite different.
We’ll check that in detail in another post.