Cravings are one of the biggest challenges most people face when they begin a journey to a healthier lifestyle.
There are two issues to consider when dealing with cravings. The first can be related to a lack of certain nutrients. The second is that cravings are a form of addiction.
Ask yourself: Am I hungry or is there another explanation (or underlying reason) for overeating?
A well-fed and nutrient-filled body will reduce unhealthy cravings since it allows the body to feel satiated fast. The answers to your problems do not have to be in the "comfort" foods of your pantry or local takeout.
Many of the foods that we crave are tasty but can create havoc on our system. Sugar is one of the biggest culprits for cravings. Sugar affects the brain by increasing the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that creates a pleasurable feeling.
An increased release of this same neurotransmitter is seen in those who use heroin, cocaine, and opioids. Imaging studies have also compared drug-addicted brains and sugar-addicted brains… and the end result is that they look the same. Furthermore, research on sugar and sugar substitutes show that they are four times more addictive than cocaine.
Cravings & Deficiencies:
Possible Missing Nutrient
Chromium, carbon, tryptophan, phosphorous
Broccoli, beans, kale, cranberries, raisins, sweet potatoes, spinach
You can learn about additional deficiencies in Ideal Weights.
Hunger is tricky. Cravings are confused signals that disturb your hunger and satiety. They can mask your true urge to eat well and eat less.
Protein is your friend! Consume protein-rich, plant-based foods and snacks as they will provide an energy-filled and power sourced body all day. Consider adding high-plant protein shakes which will fill you up and enable better eating choices.
When cravings strike, drink a glass of water or hot tea. The hunger you are feeling may mean you are dehydrated or thirsty.
Spend time with good friends; this can help occupy our time and increase mood, so you will be less likely to indulge in overeating or emotional eating.
Decrease your stress through meditation. Meditation can train the muscle of the brain how to focus, switch tracks of thinking, and therefore make better decisions.
Our body is a bio-computer. However, like other computers, glitches exist in the form of unhealthy cravings. Luckily, eating healthy can include a rewarding INDULGE MEAL.
Indulge meals can be executed in several ways, but one example would be to create a healthier version of your craving. So long as you are conscious of your craving it is possible to enjoy the craving without feeling guilty!
Eat more dark chocolate. Dark chocolate stimulates taste receptors and circulates ghrelin, which regulates hunger. The more dark and bitter the chocolate is, the better.
A crucial step is to keep a food journal throughout your weight loss journey. Write down your five most addicting foods you will overcome. Start to notice the difference. Trust your gut about what feels the best and what foods provide the best energy. As you track your eating, your food awareness will increase.
Creamy cocoa pudding
2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup almond or coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup frozen blueberries and strawberries mix
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 TBSP slivered almonds to top
Stevia to taste (optional) Instructions 1. Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until creamy. 2. Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Prep time = 5 minutes Total time = 3 hours Serves = 4 Calories per serving = 130