Can't Stick With Your Food Plan? Here's Why(?)
by Joan Kent, PhD
This brief post offers one possible reason you may have difficulty sticking with your food plan.
Let's start here: Do you have food cravings? And are the cravings specifically for sugary foods and other junk?
Next: Do you give in to the cravings by eating some of the foods you crave, especially sugar?
If the answer is yes, it's possible that your way of handling the cravings is actually creating more cravings.
Not Always Hormones
It's all too easy to blame premenstrual hormone fluctuations, for example, but eating sugar when you crave it is a virtual guarantee that you'll crave it again — later in the day, the next morning or other times of the day, and possibly for two or more days after you've had it.
No, this isn't the case for everyone. Some people really do have a take-it-or-leave-it reaction to sugary foods.
Still, food cravings are common. And it seems to be common "wisdom" that the way to deal with those cravings is to eat a little bit of whatever you crave.
I absolutely must question the wisdom of that perspective. Of course, eating what you crave will take away a craving temporarily — after all, you just ate what you craved.
But the cravings will return — often stronger than before. You may be setting yourself up for these future cravings, and almost guaranteeing that they become too strong to resist.
What To Do Instead
Admittedly, this approach takes self-discipline when you have a craving, but here it is.
For short-term craving relief, here's a solution I've proposed before, but I stand by it.
- Reach for 1 teaspoon of liquid B-complex when you have a craving. (Please first check with your doctor to find out if this solution is appropriate for you.)
- Make sure you're using B-complex, rather than any individual B vitamin.
- Give the B-complex a few minutes — really! — to do its work.
- Get on with your life, craving-free.
Now let's say your doctor has told you not to use B-complex, or you don't have any available when a craving strikes. What's an alternative?
One way to go is to have a little high-fat food — even one that you might not consider particularly healthful. Examples might include nuts (yes, roasted and salted are fine), cheese, guacamole, or other high-fat fare.
Combining those fats with a small amount of starch (most people say "carbs") is a good choice. If you feel it won't be enough, add something hot and spicy. This is one reason guacamole will work well.
In any case, the combination will modify your brain chemistry so it resembles the neurochem you'd create by eating sugar — only you'll simply bypass the addictive response you might have to sugar.
It's a surprisingly good deal.
If I could do one and only one thing for my clients (and my non-clients), I would love to communicate the foolishness of eating what you crave — especially if the food is addictive.
A self-perpetuating cycle is characteristic of food addictions — and absolutely not worth the taste of sugar or the follow-up taste of more of the same.
If you'd like help eliminating cravings or even quitting sugar for good, that's what I do. Just visit www.FoodAddictionSolutions.com/Coaching and grab your free Last Resort Nutrition® Consult. Find out how easy it is to regain control, increase your energy, and feel fantastic.