Have food cravings?
Let’s face it, at one time or another we all have experienced a craving of some sort. Or seen a scrumptious dessert, a red velvet cupcake for example, and just had to devour it. A few things probably happened; it tasted amazing, you wanted another one, and felt guilty the whole time (well maybe just after eating the second cupcake).
Why is this happening?
Turns out our brain (the parts involved in hunger, craving and reward) is stimulated by sugary foods and drinks, white bread and other processed carbohydrates that are known to cause abrupt spikes and falls in blood sugar. These high-glycemic foods influence the brain in a way that might drive some people to overeat. This is according to findings in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The lead author of this study, Dr. David Ludwig, explains, “This research suggests that based on their effects on brain metabolism, all calories are not alike. Not everybody who eats processed carbohydrates develops uncontrollable food cravings. But for the person who has been struggling with weight in our modern food environment and unable to control their cravings, limiting refined carbohydrate may be a logical first step.”
Interesting. Have you ever had a handful of chips or a cookie and just wanted more? Have you ever noticed having more cravings after drinking juice or a diet soda? Now you know why. Our best bet is to severely limit these types of foods and replace with more whole foods. Otherwise we stay on the hamster wheel of food cravings and weight gain.
This is all well and good but what do you do if you feel like you need that candy or bagel that is calling your name in the break room?
Here are a few tips to curb your food cravings (in addition to reducing processed carbohydrates, sugary foods and drinks):
Drink a glass of water (eight ounces) immediately when you crave any food
No starches with the evening meal (make your meals with protein, vegetables, and healthy fats)
Ditch appetite stimulating artificial sweeteners (sucralose/splenda, acesulfame potassium (a.k.a Sunett, Sweet One), aspartame, nutrasweet)
Jumping jacks, body weight pushups or squats for two minutes when you begin to crave any food
(A fun one) sniff mint - one study had subjects sniff peppermint throughout the day. Those who did ate 2,800 fewer calories per week than those who didn’t. The hypothesis was that the scent disrupted the craving
Each newsletter I enclose at the bottom my request to forward this to someone you know that would benefit from its contents. The more I work in this amazing realm, the more I talk to people, the more I read, just further solidifies that we really need to help each other. There are so many convenient and easy “food” choices that are in front of us that we sometimes mindlessly succumb to big food companies luring tactics to our own peril. Stay strong. Be mindful. Be good to yourself and your family.
So let’s do this.
One newsletter at a time.
To y(our) journey,
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