What is a craving?: Definition “a strong feeling of wanting something” Oxford English Dictionary
How many of us can relate to that feeling? And how many are willing to add that when it occurs we usually crave something we are reluctant to admit to enjoying? All too often cake, sugar, alcohol and chocolate are the main culprits.
Furtive cravings are a part of this modern life (not a shameful pastime!) and despite popular belief they can be neutralised effectively and put to bed for good. It just takes a bit of effort and forward planning and here at Feel Great Formula we will guide you each step of the way to help you succeed.
A good place to start is to realise that a craving is often an overreaction to a deficit and that most cravings can be faced down with just three tools -
2. Understanding, and
We will take time to develop these tools as we work through the Feel Great Formula programme, but for now let's take the example of sugar cravings. A biggy for most of us at one time or another:
Craving sugar or carbohydrate is an indication that your blood glucose regulation is unstable and this can occur with a diet high in refined foods, irregular meal times or a low fibre intake. It's easy to throw your blood glucose off-kilter, but how to we get it back on track?......
What you can do in 4 simple steps:
Take the time to remove all refined carbohydrate and replace with unrefined (brown) options such as brown rice, quinoa & whole-oats
Increase your fibre intake by aiming to eat at least 7 different vegetables per day and establish a regular mealtime routine. This will allow your body to make, store and release energy at a controlled pace that will enable you to feel energised throughout the whole day and avoid blood glucose highs and lows that can prompt an overeat or poor food choices.
Experiencing hunger cravings in-between meals without reasonable cause could be a direct reaction to dehydration. Often, especially when working, we just simply forget to drink and that can cause lethargy, poor concentration, fatigue and false hunger. Remember every cell works more efficiently when it is properly hydrated and water is an easy option but why not make 50% of your daily drinks “active”. This means we are adding in extra vitamins and minerals to increase our nutrient and antioxidant status and help us perform more efficiently. Add lemon, lime, berries or orange slices to water. Take regular herbal tea, green to provide antioxidants, fennel to help regulate appetite, sage to tackle hot flushes and chamomile to aid relaxation. Or make a small vegetable juice of apple, spinach, courgette, avocado and lime zest to provide iron, folic acid, essential fats and b vitamins to help maintain energy levels.
Feeling like you cannot get a handle on your appetite and craving food constantly could be a reaction to a lack of restful sleep. Sleep is vital to achieve optimum good health, it is an opportunity for rest and cellular repair, allows the brain space to take in all that it has experienced during the day and its when the liver does most of its work. But it is also important for hormone regulation and as little as three consecutive nights of disturbed sleep can result in an increase in the hormone grehlin (sometimes as much as 15%) and this is the hormone that stimulates appetite. From now on make sure you establish a regular sleep routine that allows you time to regenerate your resources and that you maintain this pattern at all times including weekends and holidays.
Try these tips one at a time. Which one has the biggest impact on YOUR cravings?