THE ART (AND SCIENCE) OF CURBING YOUR CRAVINGS
Like you, 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’ve been there. 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. I learned some important strategies for more success and now I can authentically say “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Are you also stuck in sweet seductions, carbohydrate coddlings, and bread-y 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 when you eat a low glycemic breakfast, you crave less food in the form of carbohydrates and sugar throughout the day (Ball et al.). Your steady insulin and blood sugar will insure your cravings are calm throughout the rest of the day. 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 heavy on-the-run snacks. Foods like nuts, avocado, whole milk unsweetened yogurt, organic meats, cheeses, and protein shakes will keep your insulin so happy in between meals.
3. Healthy, Happy, WHOLE
Carbohydrate quality is a big culprit in how our cravings unfold. The more processed the food, usually the more of 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. 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 ends up in us getting too hungry, and making a choice that is more impulsive. Planning on little dense snack bites often will keep you satiated and satisfied and beyond the crazy cravings. Eating regularly throughout the day creates a healthy metabolism, and happier hormones (aka Insulin).
5. Intuition Is More Powerful Than Intellect.
The body is wise. We inherently know what we need and by taking just a few seconds to listen, check in, 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, take space, 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 5 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 of flavors 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.
Ball, S.D., K.R. Keller, L. J. Moyer-Mileur, 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.