Craving salty snacks? Here’s why

Craving salty snacks? Here’s why

Do you find yourself reaching for potato chips or pretzels in the afternoon? Food cravings — like a hankering for something salty — are one way our bodies communicate with us. And salt cravings can be a clue that your body isn’t getting what it needs.

Our bodies actually need salt: the right type and amount stabilizes our electrolytes, lowers stress and improves brain function.


What can a salt craving tell you?

You’re dehydrated.

Aim to drink about half of your body weight, in ounces, of spring water each day. For a 140-pound person, that’s 70 ounces. If you tend to crave salt in the afternoon, try drinking more water in the mornings. Why spring water? It has the best electrolyte value because it comes straight from an aquifer; that means it retains beneficial minerals. Electrolytes are important because they help regulate how and where fluids are stored and distributed through your body.

You’re fatigued or stressed out.

The right amount of salt helps soothe the adrenal glands and lower the stress hormone cortisol. And when your stress levels are under control, your metabolism hums along more smoothly. Your body is more likely to burn fat as fuel rather than store it on your hips.

Settling salt cravings

Before you make a beeline for the nearest can of Pringles, ask yourself if you’ve been drinking enough water. Try upping your intake to meet your ounces-per-day goal.

Consider adding a bit more salt to your diet. Celtic salt and Himalayan salt have the best electrolyte value among the various types (you can find them in health-food stores and online). If you can’t find those, go for sea salt. Sprinkle a bit of salt on apple or melon slices, or even just place a pinch on your tongue.

Still have the munchies? Try whipping up a batch of satisfying kale chips. And if you’re doing the Fast Metabolism Diet, try pickles–they’re salty and crunchy and fine for all three phases (be sure to choose a brand with no added sugar).

Links included in this article will sometimes direct you to the website, where you can learn more about and purchase many of the products mentioned. Please know that Haylie Pomroy has a financial interest in anything that is sold from

84 thoughts on “Craving salty snacks? Here’s why

  1. Hi! Question: I’m assuming sugarless gum isn’t allowed on the diet. Will I be able to add it back after the 28 days? Thanks!

    • Kari — steer clear of fake sweeteners, like those in sugarless gum. But check out gums made with xylitol or stevia. Xyla is one example that’s pretty easy to find.

        • Not to be a smart arse but being poisonous to dogs really has nothing to do with the subject, its like saying be careful with cabbage cause its deadly poisonous to rabbits?

          • It’s obvious that you don’t own a dog. :) Since there are so many pet owners in the world, I think Carla’s warning was well warranted. Dogs can find traces of food anywhere and that specific gum should be put where a dog could not get to it.

          • Well, since I cant reply to Lori… I will just respond here: I agree with Aaron and I just happen to own quite a few dogs, which by the way have nothing to do wit this post and
            I actually typed in for this info for HUMANS…….. not dogs or any other animal! Thanks goodnite!

          • When asking about food it is nice to add about dogs since so many people have dogs in the home. The two of you are simply rude and Lori was being considerate to make a small comment, which you two have now expanded into a discussion. Lori – you obviously are a nice and considerate person – ignore the rude people around you.

          • Your comment was rude and crude…for people who love animals, especially dogs it is a good reminder to be aware and careful about that particular product!

            You were very insensitive!

  2. I have the low normal blood pressure (f. 67 years) that is right on the border line and I salt everything. What happens to my blood pressure if I stop using? ALSO, a big one! When will the ap be available for ANDROID?

  3. I’m on estrogen, progesterone and testostorone, I’m female. Should I stop these prescribed drugs while doing the 28day plan? Will the medication interfer with the 28 day plan?

  4. Hi, Just purchased the book yesterday and tried my first recipe this morning for breakfast. I did the strawberry with lemon and ice. My husband is doing the program with me. I put in half a lemon and peel into my blender. Organic. My husband contends the recipe would directly call for the peel if it were meant to be in the smoothie. But we tried with the peel. No stevia or xylitol available yet so without sweetener. Pretty bitter but not a big deal. Do we need the peel or not? Thank you.

  5. I have read your book and started the diet on Wednesday … today is Sunday and lost 7 pounds! However, I would like to begin the diet over again with Monday as the first day … what will this do to the past 5 days?

  6. Which one supplement on your store page, would you recommend to someone just starting the plan. I am in my lower 40′s, active, and wanting to lose the last 10lbs. One that would help with the program as there are several that seem good.

    • Personally, I would start with a vitamin and then omega 3′s…..some take supplememnts according to their bloodwork. Mine said I was low in Vitamin D so I have a prescription for it. Best to get bloodwork done and see what you need to work on:)

  7. I bought Newman’s Own organic spelt pretzels today (Ingredient list is organic spelt flour, Organic sunflower oil, salt, yeast and soda) and when I got them home I looked on the back and it says contains wheat and the rules say no wheat…can I use them?

      • When a package mentions a food under “allergen information” without disclosing the same food in the “Ingredients” section, it’s just an advisory to people who may be allergic to that foodstuff that the product may (or may not) have been in contact with surfaces that were previously in contact with said foodstuff (in this case, wheat, and/or wheat products).

        It does NOT mean that the product does contain wheat as an ingredient. Intentional non-disclosure of ingredients is a serious offence.

        • SPELT = WHEAT. It’s just a more easily digestible version of wheat.

          Technically speaking, spelt is a hybrid of wheat and is often commonly called a specie of wheat. Both spelt and common wheat are whole grains belonging to the plant family of Triticum.

  8. I was so excited when I siarted the plan yesterday (Monday) bit by mid afternoon I felt so weak and tired. I followed the plan all day with meals, snacks and water. This morning I feel the same, so tired and little energy. Am I simply missing caffeine?

  9. I’m starting on Monday. My big question is: is the serving for strawberries (on the app) REALLY 2 1/2 cups? Same for oatmeal – 2 1/2 cups!!! That sounds like a LOT of food. Is it supposed to be for 2 people?

    • Hi. Yes, that’s too much If you want to lose more than 20 pounds, eat 1.5 portions — so 1 1/2 cups of strawberries, and 1 1/2 cups of oats. –Christine, Random House Digital

  10. I agree to android app
    Also, can anyone tell me what the portion sizes are for this diet. I have bought the book and have some, but would like to know for some fruits and veggies.

  11. I started the diet monday and LOVE IT!!!!! I have lost 5 lbs already. The only problem that I am having is caffeine withdrawls. I had such a horrible headache by dinner time on day 2 that I was vomiting and not able to even eat dinner. I get caffeine from crystal-lite energy and know that it is horrible for me, but cannot work or even function with the headaches. Can anyone tell me how to get off caffeine or at least switch to a healthier version (except coffee…I cannot stand the taste). I want this to work.

    • Hi, Kari! Dandelion root tea may be your answer. It has that pungent coffee taste most people want in the morning, and it helps to hold off those withdrawal headaches. Brands like Traditional Medicinals (which I prefer for its stronger taste over others) are readily available in the tea section, usually top shelf, of most grocers. Health food and vitamin shops carry brands also. If you do a little web research into natural remedies for caffeine withdrawal, you will find other concoctions.

    • I had 4 days of headaches and am now fine. Best to set aside time a good time to do this…I picked school vacation because I had the week off from work:)

  12. I’m having a problem with eating some of the different recipies. I’m a little confused with what to substiaute some foods with others.

  13. Like the hummus.I really don’t care for it or I’m not a big fish eater but I can get myself to eat it.any ideas?

  14. I bought the book on Amazon and my husband and I are starting the diet tomorrow, (he’s shopping right now). Totally understand about the no caffeine rule, but when I start my day I really need something hot, can I have a cup of herbal tea? What is the rule about honey as a sweetener? I would love to be able to print the Master Food Lists. Is there a place to find them on your website? Can’t wait to report back next week!

    • Linda,
      I too enjoy something warm in the morning. I have started making myself some butternut squash soup for phases 1 & 3. It is just butternut squash, cooked & pureed, mixed with organic vegetable broth. I have also added it to my phase 1 snacks. It adds vegetables and warms my body and soothes my mind. for phase 2, I enjoy a cup of herbal lemon tea.

  15. My husband is always hungry and has a sweet tooth. Can we eat extra snacks in between meals and snacks? I thought that was not allowed. So when can you eat Kale chips, pretzels and peach sorbet?
    Confused, Linda

    • The program says 3 meals and 2 snacks. Amounts vary according to how much you need to lose. Perhaps you are not eating enough of meals or snacks? It says to up 1/2 of food item for wanting to lose over 20 lbs….so some will eat 1 cup oatmeal whereas others 1.5 cups…plus…as far as veggies…in her book, she says eat a lot of them…they won’t hurt you. So for instance, she mentions 4 cups of broccolli with a meat…..and she says always have a veggie with a protein:)

  16. I just started the program Monday, I love the food. But the headache is soooo bad! Any tricks to go thru this?
    ALso, what are the allowed portions for food..and yes on the app for android..please . Thank you

  17. My daughter and I started the program Monday and are trying to lose about 30 pounds. The portions for that are 1 and 1/2 portions (which is a lot of food) what happens if we just can;t eat all of it?

    • Rhonda: I also could not choke down all the food. I eventually backed off to the 20 pound loss portions. Then I just continued the diet, but with healthy oils all 7 days, after the first 28 days. Another hint was to cook my vegetables and sometimes to put them in the blender after cooking.(like kale, etc) and put it into a soup. You can consume more vegetables that way.

  18. Today I am starting week 2 of the diet. I lost 0 pounds so far. I have the app. and am following the portion sizes and food choices. Do I need to complete the entire 28 days to lose the weight. I would like to lose 30 lbs. What am I doing wrong?

    • Are you drinking half your body weight in water? I have steadily lost 1lb everyday IF I drink my water. On the days that I didn’t drink all my water I did not loose any weight. Sounds strange but if your eating properly it must be the water??

    • re losing weight everyday–not only is drinking water a biggie for me, but if I am up for 3 hours past finishing dinner, I get to have a snack. Having that pm phase-specific snack has proven to be important. If you are up and awake, your body needs fuel.

  19. I started the diet yesterday and made the turkey, white bean, and kale soup (delicious!!). I measured all ingredients and when it was finished there were 16 cups of soup. The book indicates this recipe makes four servings. That would be 4 cups per serving. That seems like too much. I have more than 20 pounds to lose, so that means according to the formula I should eat 6 cups. This can’t be accurate.

  20. I noticed that the blank meal map in phase 3 seems to be different when I look at her plan,like page 119 and 130 notice breakfast , on the blank meal map it list fruit , healthyfat/protein, grain , veggie, do I go with that or do I go with her fill in (friday….oatmeal), that’s a big difference in food. one or 4?
    I went with the 4 and gained the 3 of the 4 pounds back. So confussed now. Please help me I don’t want to give up . Thanks

    • yes, black rice is listed as a phase 3 grain. Remember–no grain for lunch on phase 3. and if you’re gaining weight on phase three, substitute a veggie (like sweet potatoes) in place of the grain at evening meal.

  21. I have a question about using salt to mineralize water. My husband insists on getting distilled water for drinking. I have heard that spring water purified via reverse osmosis is better for your body but he isists on distilled, so that’s that. My question isn’t about the water, but about salt: I like to add a little pinch of himilayan pink salt or lemon juice to my personal water bottle from time to time because I want the little bit of minerals. Is that okay?

  22. Hi! I have a couple of questions:
    What is the max daily allowance for sodium? Is it what generally is recommended (1500 mg) or lower?
    Would Kamut bread, pasta be allowed on fmd? Or rye cracker (contains rye and sea salt only)?
    What about cereals (ingredients spelt or kamut, fruit juice, sea salt, all organic, 3g of sugar per serving from the fruit juice). Is it OK to have or is it too processed to be acceptable on fmd?
    Thank you

    • Haylie has not designated an upper limit for sodium. Kamut products are good for P1. The rye crackers sound fine. Steer clear of cereals with added sugar, even fruit juice. There are some out there with no sugar. Check out the Ezekiel 4:9 cereal — same ingredients as their sprouted grain bread and no added sugars.

  23. Play tennis in Florida summer heat, usually drink powerade zero sports drink. Is this OK or what can I drink to replenish electrolytes while playing?

    • Hi Danielle. Powerade has fake sugar in it, so it’s best to avoid. Personally, one product I like is NUUN — these are electrolyte tablets you drop into water and they are sugar free. note this is my personal recommendation.

  24. Great, quick info. I have lots of clients ask me why they have cravings. I say let’s find out bc your body is telling you something. You have to really pay attention to your body.

  25. My wife and I and 2 friends have been on diet for 3 weeks. Move the phases around for the holidays. Everyone is doing really well onn the diet. Herers a question After the 28 days and we are back in the real world on maintainace,if we want to have a bowl of ice cream ( I know OMG) and we had to make a choice would u pre fer it to be Tofutti (soy) or regular ice cream. BTW we all plan to start the first week of every month by going through the plan to keep our metabolisms in gd shape. But this is an impt question.

    • Hi Craig. Glad you are all doing well! Haylie would say go with organic, full-fat (not reduced calorie or fat free) ice cream instead of the tofu ice cream. Both will have plenty of sugar, but if you are choosing between two off-diet things like this, it’s usually better to go for whichever has the shortest ingredient list.

  26. I’m not overweight and I drink a lot of water but, I still crave salty Lays Classic Potato Chips, every single day! On top of that I feel the need to salt almost everything and no salt will do other than Iodized salt. I actually become bitchy if I don’t have salt in my system and by that I mean, I turn into a whole other person without my idea of the right amount of salt. If I don’t go and eat those salty foods especially the plain potato chips that have a lot of salt sprinkled on the top, I don’t feel good, I become sluggish and angry. I do however eat a balanced diet, I’m not constantly munching on potato chips only or fried foods and I don’t like anything sweet like cakes or pies. What is happening to me? How can I fix it?

    • Hi Addison. Have you talked to your doctor about this one? Extreme salt cravings could be linked to a mineral imbalance, or a medical condition. This one is a question for your physician, for sure.

  27. Ever since i was a child i have been eating salt like no ones business. i found that i eat salt more than normal when my friend tried doing what was normal for me to intake he threw up. i have never met another person who was like me and craved it like i did. doctors never tried to figure out why. everything was always normal when i got my check ups. I have no clue why i crave it so much. i am moody as mess if i do not have salt. my parents have fought with me at every turn to stop eating so much but it just made me not me. i finally got myself from iodized to sea salt but i still will eat it straight from the shaker. my favorite thing i crave like crazy is crushed ice with salt mixed in. My aunt think is a medical problem but no one i go to listens to us or tries to help. They just dismiss it. I would really like it if someone who might be able to help does.

    • Hi CJ. I can only answer questions about the diet, or on topics Haylie has spoken about — I’m not a medical professional, so I cannot offer an opinion on this. It’s good you have switched to sea salt. Do you have edema or swelling? That can be a sign of too much sodium. I can understand why you’d like to understand why you have these cravings.

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