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Fitness for Body, Mind and Spirit

GreenNote Life

Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Food cravings…what is your body telling you…?

What was the last food that you had a huge craving for? We all have food or beverage cravings at some point in time. It sometimes feel like a driving and controlling force. Why is that? We will delve into what cravings are, a few common cravings and what they mean, and some fun tips and tricks to combat those cravings. Ready to tackle your cravings? We begin with understanding the difference between cravings and hunger as they are quite different. Hunger is controlled by the stomach. “When you eat, the fat cells in your body release a hormone called ‘leptin’. Increased levels of leptin reduce your desire and motivation to continue eating or eat more. Within a few hours after you’ve finished eating, your leptin levels drop, and this drop in leptin causes a release of a different hormone, gherlin, which is released by your stomach and pancreas and makes you feel hungry. This is one reason why many people have a harder time controlling their appetite or stopping after they’ve eaten enough: they’re leptin resistant.” Hunger is a survival mechanism, in contrast, cravings are controlled by the brain and is really about your body communicating with you. Which begs the question, what is my body trying to tell me if I have cravings? Here are few common cravings and what the body could be trying to communicate that I learned from fitness and nutrition expert Ben Greenfield:

Tips and tricks to help with food cravings:

  • Drink water - if you crave any food, drink 8 ounces of water immediately

  • No starches with evening meal - only protein, vegetables, and health fats

  • No artificial sweeteners i.e. sucralose/splenda, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, nutrasweet - these only stimulate your appetite and contain harmful chemicals

  • Jumping jacks, push-ups or bodyweight squats for 2 minutes - this will help distract your brain and help you focus on movement

  • Tap your forehead (yes, this is a little different) - there is science behind this theory of craving suppression. When a craving comes on, place your fingers and thumb on your forehead. Space them slightly apart and begin tapping each finger at intervals of a second. While doing this look upward. Craving will have disappeared

  • Sniff mint - this may also so a little different but also has science behind it. A study had participants sniff peppermint throughout the day. Those who did ate 2,800 fewer calories per week than those who didn’t. The scent was hypothesized to disrupt the craving

I am hopeful that this newsletter helped you understand that cravings are a way your body is trying to communicate with you. If you feel a craving coming on, look at the chart above to see what you may be deficient in or try some the tips and tricks. Did you missed last week’s newsletter on bench press variation for added benefits…?.

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