The Art & Science of Curbing Your Cravings
Are you stuck in sweet seduction, carbohydrate coddling, and bread binges?
We often get 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. Here’s the secret: cravings can be curbed when our blood sugar is balanced -- 90 percent of our cravings will literally vanish when we get a handle on the insanity of our insulin. The six steps below help to do just that.
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. Studies show when you eat a low glycemic breakfast, you crave up to 80 percent less food in the form of carbohydrates and sugar.
Your insulin 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. Snack Smart.
When snacking, eat foods high in protein and fat instead of carbohydrate-heavy, on-the-run snacks. Foods like nuts, avocado, whole milk, unsweetened whole milk yogurt, organic meats, cheeses (and their vegan complements) and protein shakes will keep your insulin so happy in between meals.
3. EAT the whole carbs.
Carbohydrate quality is a big culprit in how our cravings unfold. The more processed the food, usually the more of a blood sugar bomb it is.
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. munch all day.
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. Plan on little dense snack bites often to keep you satiated and satisfied and beyond the crazy cravings. Eat regularly throughout the day to create a healthy metabolism, and happier hormones (aka insulin).
5. trust your gut.
The body is wise. We inherently know what we need 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.
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 way off center. Check in with each plate of food, and see if you can find a representation of the each of these: sweet, bitter, salty, sour and spicy (pungent). In the intricacy of flavor balance, your palate will be pleased.
Sue Van Raes is the founder of Boulder Nutrition, where she helps women heal through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Her credentials are rooted in science, psychology, and life experience.
She founded Boulder Nutrition in 2003, and has successfully merged a combination of yoga, nutrition, and food psychology into her current practice. Sue specializes in women’s health, and educates her clients on whole body health and science based nutrition, while improving the overall relationship we have with food and body.
Her insight on nutrition, food psychology, and yoga has been featured in numerous publications, including People, Natural Solutions, and Origin magazines, Elephant Journal and Urban Wellness Mag.