How to Avoid Cravings

September 15, 2017

How to Avoid Cravings

WHAT YOUR CRAVINGS ARE TRYING TO TELL YOU

Have you ever rummaged through your cabinet only to find that the last trace of sweets left in your midst is a stale package of Oreos, but you eat the whole thing anyways because you’re suddenly desperate for all the sugar in the world? And you thought you threw those awfully delicious treats out with the rest of the junk you swore you would never touch again. Must have known that the cravings would strike eventually!

There’s no single solution that can apply to everyone’s individual body systems, and it’s best to listen to what your body needs – but sometimes your body thinks it wants one thing and actually needs another. Sometimes that thing it needs is the complete opposite of what you thought it wanted! Don’t worry, we’re going to help you figure out what it all means.

Carb Cravings

 

 

Your body might be missing nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods. Consuming the right amount of protein will keep your energy levels consistent throughout the day, so you will be less likely to result to quick-fix, carb-rich solutions for a mid day brain boost.

Poor gut function can also trigger carbohydrate cravings. Inadequate nutrient absorption caused by digestive issues leads to vitamin deficiencies (like B vitamins and magnesium), though consuming probiotics and prebiotic foods can help prevent you from chowing down on the carbs. Are you sensitive to dairy products and/or gluten? You’ll want to stay away from products that contain these ingredients, as they’re going to exacerbate any gut-related digestive issues.

What to eat: onions, asparagus, bananas, beans, fish, meat, nuts, some unprocessed carbs!

What to avoid: milk/cheese products, processed foods, food allergens

 

Sugar Cravings

 

 

 

Depressive symptoms, stress, and low mood can have been linked with high-sugar cravings, and these food products supply the brain with a temporary fix of serotonin which can make you feel a little better…temporarily. A classic case of the sugar munchies usually leads to energy crash, and unfortunately, continued or elevated stress/sad feelings. Consuming a balanced diet will actually help to stabilize your mood, as proper nutrition can fixate hormones which regulate these parts of the brain.*

Some studies show that women who experience chocolate cravings may actually be influenced to consume this highly popular sweet due to lowered levels of magnesium. It’s true that we can get this nutrient by eating leafy green veggies or seeds and nuts, but most of us don’t crave that – we want the real deal. But beware of all the added sugar! When in doubt, go for the darkest dark chocolate, and take smaller bites to savor the flavor and stop yourself from eating the whole bar!

What to eat: unsweetened cacao nibs, berries, lean protein foods, healthy fats (like olive oil), coconut

What to avoid: starchy foods (like pasta), excess sodium

 

Fat Cravings

 

 

A moderate amount of fat is necessary for overcoming other kinds of food cravings, like sugar and carbs. Fat is essential for healthy brain function and blood sugar stability, so you should not be eliminating it from your diet completely! It’s about learning to love the right kinds of fats rather than fiending for a bag of fries whenever the mood strikes.

You may be craving fats because of low energy, which can be re-invigorated by consuming essential fatty acids and proper nutrition consisting of foods rich in vitamins A, E, D, and K. Fat cravings can also be an indication of an endorphin or dopamine deficiency: since fat stimulates these hormones, you may be unconsciously drawn to junk foods for positive brain stimulation.*

What to eat: meat (or other sources of protein), olives, avocados

What to avoid: margarine, shortening, soybean/safflower oil

 

 

Salt Cravings

 

 

You could be dehydrated! More salt is needed to regulate your electrolytes when too little water is consumed, and these electrolytes retain water needed for basic, essential body functions. High-intensity exercise and alcohol, for example, can lead to dehydration.

But don’t forget about minerals! Our bodies need calcium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, and other trace minerals to stay healthy and regulate neurochemical activity. Many minerals taste salty, so a salt craving could mean that you’re missing these important components of a balanced diet.*

What to eat: sea greens (like nori & algae), hemp, chia, watermelon

What to avoid: processed foods (like chips and crackers), store-bought salad dressing and sauces, canned foods

 

You might be craving certain foods because you’re trying to cut them out of your diet completely rather than practicing moderation or reducing intake gradually.

Unplanned snack-fest sessions will make you feel a lot worse than a few pieces of chocolate or a handful of potato chips now and then, so sometimes it’s best to give yourself a little dose of whatever it is you’re wanting! However, if you’re really committed to a strict program, then you may not be making any allowances for dietary vices. Eating nutrient-rich foods can help stop cravings at the source, while eating junk only puts a temporary bandaid on the larger problem at hand (or in stomach).

Water, sleep, schedule, repeat!

Sleep! Research has shown that chronically tired people feel hungrier throughout the day, make poorer food choices, and eat more in general compared to people who get a healthy amount of snooze time. Also, your body stays in fat-storage mode when sleep deprived due to decreased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.It also is extremely helpful to drink plenty of water and establish a regular eating schedule!

A nutritious diet requires thought and planning.

Eating regular, healthy meals and light snacks throughout the day will give your body the steady supply of nutrients it needs to stay active (and keep you on track with the 30-day calendar program)!

If you're struggling to lose weight despite working out frequently, it's because something is off - that something is probably your diet! Making conscious food choices takes practice, but once you realize how good it feels to provide the body with the right kind of nutrition, you'll understand why I always emphasize that food is essential for fitness! My Nutrition Plan gives you the tools you need to make a habit out of healthy choices!

 

Drop me a comment on Instagram, Facebook, or blog posts and let me know how I can help you learn more about how to be your body's best friend!

 

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The post How to Avoid Cravings appeared first on Rebecca Louise.





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