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March 26, 2017

The Art & Science of Curbing your Cravings.

Editor’s Note: This website is not designed to, and should not be construed to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment. Always consult a health professional about before trying out new home therapies or changing your diet.

I’m no stranger to cravings.

I know how they can feel overwhelming, out of control, and truly crazy when it comes down to it.

I spent years living off coffee and carbs. My cravings were running the show, all day, every day. Not only did I not feel satiated, energized, or content, but I also had intense bouts of hypoglycemia, migraine headaches, and brain fog.

Luckily, I learned some important strategies, and now I can authentically say, “It doesn’t have to be that way.”

Are you also stuck in sweet seductions, carbohydrate “coddlings,” and bread binges? We often feel stuck thinking our personal will should be strong enough to battle the craziness of these common cravings. The reality is that most of our cravings have nothing to do with our personal weaknesses, our emotional favoring, or even our habitual madness. What’s really going on has much more to do with our biochemistry.

Check out the most important things to know about cravings, and free yourself from the craving craziness once and for all with these six steps below:

1. How low can you go?

If you can start off the day with a low glycemic breakfast, you will conquer your cravings much quicker. One particular study showed that when you eat a low glycemic breakfast, you crave less food in the form of carbohydrates and sugar throughout the day. (1) Your steady insulin and blood sugar will insure your cravings stay calm. It is not really magic at all, but it does feel like a miracle.

2. Smart snacking.

When snacking, try eating foods high in protein and fat instead of carbohydrate on-the-run type snacks. Foods like nuts, avocado, whole milk, unsweetened yogurt, organic meats, cheeses, and protein shakes will keep your insulin happy in between meals.

3. Healthy, happy, and whole.

Carbohydrate quality is a big culprit as to how our cravings unfold. The more processed the food, usually means it is usually a blood sugar bomb. If we can eat carbohydrates in their whole form (such as brown rice, sweet potato, steel cut oats, quinoa, or a tart apple) we will find these whole carbohydrates are much more gentle on our blood sugar. (2) Cleaning up our carbs makes all the difference. Go for the good stuff.

4. Consistency is key.

When we wait too long between meals, we are taking an insulin risk that usually results in us getting too hungry, and making choices that are impulsive. Planning on little, dense snack bites will often keep you satiated and satisfied. Eating regularly throughout the day creates a healthy metabolism and happier hormones.

5. Intuition is more powerful than intellect.

The human body is wise. We inherently know what we need. Take a few seconds to listen and inquire as to what would be the next best food move. As we start to balance out and fine tune, we will notice we can trust our food intuition more and more. Try to take a few moments to slow down and check in. Make your plate your practice.

6. The flavors create the fervor.

In both traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, there is a distinctive art and science to balancing the five flavors. Each flavor is known to bring a different quality and energy to your body and mind. We so commonly find our plates are full of sweet flavors swinging the balance way off center. Check in with each plate of food, and see if you can find a representation of the majority of these flavors: sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and spicy (pungent). In the intricacy of balance of flavors, your palate will be pleased.

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Sources:

(1) Ball, S.D., K.R. Keller, L. J. Moyer-Mileur

(2) Y.W. Ding, D. Donaldson, and W.D. Jackson. “Prolongation of Satiety After Low Versus Moderately High Glycemic Index Meals in Obese Adolescents.” Pediatrics 111. 3 (2003): 488-94. Web. 22 Feb. 17.

~

Author: Sue Van Raes

Image: Photo and Share CC/ Flickr 

Editor: Deb Jarrett

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