We know that sugar is the primary culprit connected with many undesirable conditions – insulin resistance, unstable blood sugar, pre-diabetes, inflammation – most of which include weight gain.
What is a craving? Turns out a craving has physiological and psychological sides. The physiological side happens when there is an imbalance of hormones, such as leptin and serotonin. Those appetite stimulating/depressing hormones make your body crave satiation. These taps on the appetite centers of the brain are usually separate from actual hunger.
The psychological side starts in the area of the brain responsible for memory, pleasure, and reward. You see something or think of something pleasurable and that generates a desire to recreate the pleasure – which results in a craving. It may also be stimulated by an emotional need – to feel comforted for example – so your brain recalls a situation where you felt loved and cherished. Often these scenarios involve foods, so your mind tries to get you to recreate the stage where you felt good, and that often incudes a specific food.
Cravings usually don’t last very long, about 3 minutes. And they typically subside after a week or two into a new set of food choices.
So what can we do to stop them (or run down the clock)?
- Distract yourself with a task and tell yourself that you’ll address the issue later (hopefully moot after the craving passes)
- Use the essential oil ClarySage in a diffuser or mixed with a transport oil on your body in key spots (wrists, behind knees, behind ears)
- Go for a walk
- Prepare a cup of tea or coffee (decaf)
- Brush your teeth
- Ask yourself what kind of hunger this is. If it’s time for a meal, eat. If you’re thirsty, drink. If you’re bored, find your ToDo list and check something off. If it’s an emotional response, sink into that need and satisfy it another way. For example, feeling lonely and disconnected? Reach out to a friend and chat.
- If all else fails, try eating a teaspoon of nut butter, a stalk of celery or a small square of dark (80%) chocolate.
Learning to decipher the messages your body is sending is so valuable. Have you tamed your cravings?
#holistichealth #nutrition #foodchoices #cravings #perimenopause
It’s pretty normal to have food cravings when you make changes to your food choices. Especially if those changes include eliminating sugar. Sugar is found in almost all processed foods these days, and our bodies have been processing way more sugar in the past decade than in previous times.