Thursday, January 31, 2013

Overcome food cravings....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 1-31-2013

Food cravings range from a bit obnoxious but ignorable to all but forcing you to eat no matter what you think of the idea.

1.  But if you stop cravings from happening at all that goes away!

2.  If you can turn them down and/or sharply increase your ability to ignore them, that also works reliably.

3.  If you give in to eating -- BUT eat something that turns off the craving or turns it down enough to ignore AND which does not fatten you, that also works.

I haven’t time to do 6 pages on each, unfortunately, but here are some methods that work in each category.

1. One way to beat cravings is to stop them from happening at all!

a) Here’s the biggest one”

If you lose weight by just eating a lot less and nothing else, your body thinks you are in a famine and makes you a LOT hungrier.  We’re talking about cravings that overpower anyone here.  It also reduces how many calories you burn and slashes your energy level.

Then, your weight loss and fat loss stops! You may even regain what you lost.  Yechh!

However, if you instead:

Eat enough calories to avoid the famine response most days of every week;

do vigorous exercise every week – particularly exercise that boosts your metabolism and adds muscle to you;

and eat enough health OK proteins and foods high in fiber;

AND only cut back on what you eat one or two or three days a week;

AND completely stop drinking soft drinks and eating packaged snacks, packaged treats, junk foods, commercial baked goods – AND stop ingesting anything made out of or containing refined grains, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, oils like corn oil or soy high in pro-inflammatory omega 6 oils, and/or are too high in real sugar or salt, the addiction and cravings caused by these foods gradually stops. (Those lists are about 95% the same stuff!)

You also prevent all kinds of fatal and horrible and expensive diseases!

Do all these things, and you can beat most of the remaining cravings most of the time.

Best of all, doing these things makes gradual and continuable AND permanent fat loss possible with something like 5% or less of the cravings doing it the other way gives you.

b) Isabel de los Rios who runs said that she’s found many cravings are due to nutrients you are low in.  And, by giving your body those, those cravings go away.

Look up if you like this essay she wrote on this that I include here.

I’ll add some comments after.  But I very much like it just as she wrote it:

"Isabel, what do you do when you have cravings?"

Well, the truth is, I don’t really get cravings anymore. Does that confirm I’m an alien? Probably.

But in all seriousness, I really believe when you do your best to cover all of your nutritional bases, most, if not, all cravings will greatly subside.

Let’s go through some of the most common ones right now.


Now who doesn’t just love chocolate? I often joke with people that even an old gym sock might taste good if you dipped it in some chocolate (eww, Isabel, you’re so gross). And hey, a little chocolatey goodness is good for you from time to time (minus the sock). What gets people in trouble is eating tons of chocolate every day. I have even heard some people say they just can’t make it through the day without it.

If you find yourself in a similar situation with chocolate or any particular SWEET treat, you may have a nutrient deficiency that is the root cause of the problem.

Chocolate cravings have been closely linked to magnesium deficiency. Try eating some extra spinach, broccoli, or some nuts, such as almonds and cashews, to boost your magnesium levels.

You need even more magnesium during your menstrual cycle, which explains why cravings can be pretty crazy during that time.

Some studies have even shown chocolate cravings to be a deficiency in vitamin B6. Add in some potatoes or bananas to your meal plans for an extra B6 boost.

Potato Chips

I never quite understood people’s fascination with potato chips, but once people start crunching, they just can’t stop! If your cravings are more on the side of SALTY, you may be deficient in just that...SALT. And I’m not talking about refined table salt (which is what is added to almost all potato chips). The good salt you need is unrefined Sea Salt. My favorite varieties are Himalayan sea salt, Celtic Sea Salt, and Redmond’s Real Salt. If you’ve ever found yourself at the bottom of the potato chip bag, still craving more, you don’t need more chips, you need more good, healthy unrefined sea salt.

But it may not be as simple as just adding in some salt. In animal studies, researchers have found that a lack of potassium, calcium, and iron causes test subjects to devour table salt. To increase your potassium levels, reach for some coconut water or bananas. For increased calcium, go for some canned salmon or sardines with bones. And for more iron, reach for the red meat and organic egg yolks.

Breads and Pasta

Well maybe this craving just has to do with you wanting to be Italian...I’m kidding of course! Most cravings for foods that are high in carbs are due to blood sugar imbalances. Craving carbs means you need more protein to balance out your blood sugar levels. I know grabbing a chicken drumstick is not exactly what you’re looking for when your tummy is telling you "bagel, bagel, bagel," but you will find yourself much more satisfied and full and NOT craving even more later in the day.

Craving carbs may also mean you are low in energy-providing B vitamins. Although there are some foods that are higher in certain B vitamins than others, B vitamins are widely distributed throughout the food supply, so if you're eating a varied, balanced diet that includes foods from all food groups, you're most likely getting as many vitamins as you need. Make sure to include green leafy vegetables, a variety of natural protein sources, and a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables to cover all of your B vitamins.

Remember that cravings can be greatly caused by 1 or more nutrient deficiency in your body, whether that is a macro-nutrient (protein, carb, or fat) or a micro-nutrient (vitamins and minerals)."

Isabel leaves out that you can also not buy or bring home many of these foods – except dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa.  It’s dramatically easier to overcome cravings for things you have no access to when the craving happens.

And, she leaves out that taking 400 mg a more a day of magnesium, and a good multivitamin plus minerals and a good B Complex vitamin every day also does a lot of heavy lifting to prevent these kinds of cravings.

2.  If you can turn down cravings and increase your ability to ignore them, that also works reliably.

a)  The more you do this the easier it gets.  David Kirchoff, the CEO of Weight Watchers, put it this way.  He said something like this:

Many cravings and other fat loss problems are less about willpower than having the commitment to do the right thing and practicing it every week until it becomes your normal habit. 

The payoff of course is that following your normal habits is virtually effortless most of the time.

(For some things that can happen even before 3 weeks and for others it can take more like 7 weeks.  But if you once persist for 2 months, you are about 98% of the way there!)

b)  What if you came to two doors and one said, “Cravings beat you here” and one that said “Cravings are really easy to ignore.”  -- if you want fat loss, wouldn’t you go in the second door instead of the first?

For many cravings, research found it’s literally as simple as getting used to going in the right door every time.

Harmful and fattening foods have two characteristics:

They are harmful and fattening!

And, the makers and sellers ensure they taste good and are somewhat addicting.

Research recently proved that it’s literally which characteristic you focus on that determines if the craving beats you or not.

If you focus on the ways that a food harms you -- such as it’s listed on the label that it contains high fructose corn syrup, and corn oil that’s been hydrogenated, and refined grain, and lots of salt, and then focus on how horrible it is for your health to ingest, it gets pretty easy to not consume any!

But if you focus instead on how good that stuff tastes instead, you’ll probably drink or eat it.

(This is NOT necessary to get food that tastes good by the way.  Foods that are not harmful or fattening are routinely available or such recipes are that give you other foods and drinks that taste good!)

c) Last time on Tuesday, 1-29-2013, we posted on a unbelievably effective way to add enough muscle to reduce the fat in your body and do it relatively quickly.

To do it you have to work really hard part of the time.  But you get used to it.  You build up to it.  It’s over each time in short and predictable time.  For the gym versions that come with a personal coach, you even get help getting into it and doing it.

But besides the dramatic help with fat loss, getting much stronger, and the health benefits, the bonus effect is that you also boost your willpower for other things too—like overcoming cravings!

“If something about your food upgrades gets challenging or you are fighting cravings for harmful and fattening stuff you used to like, it does take some effort to do the right thing.

BUT once you do this system for a while, you KNOW that YOU can persist and do hard things because you experience yourself doing it routinely every single week!

That may not have been at all your experience before, but once you have done this for a couple of weeks or more, it will be!”

3.  If you give in to eating BUT eat something that turns off the craving or turns it down enough to ignore AND which does not fatten you, that also works.

Here’s an example from my own experience.

Like Weight Watchers CEO David Kirchoff, I get late evening cravings.

For me it isn’t just psychological, I am often actually hungry or I’m hungry enough that I’ll likely wake up later with stronger cravings if I eat nothing.

I was eating full fat cheese and other things with enough calories to slow or even reverse my fat loss some months.

That included applesauce with no sugar. But that does have some fructose.

And, I was drinking milk with bad fat calories and lactose sugar, and milk’s insulin boosting that produces fat gain!

Now, using this principle instead, I DO eat now.  But I eat protein nonfat foods, foods high in fiber, and take 2 apple pectin capsules.

I eat nonfat cottage cheese and nonfat Greek yogurt instead of drinking milk and mostly have also stopped eating the full fat Irish Cheese that’s from grass fed cows.

And, I take apple pectin to replace the fiber that I was getting in the applesauce.

And, I always have raw broccoli or cauliflower florets for more fiber and the crunch!

Sometimes I’m a bit hungry after all that still.  But it’s usually mild enough to ignore.

And, the evenings it’s more than mild I only need one cheese stick sized piece of Irish cheese to turn it off instead of 3 pieces!

So, I now have virtually the same hunger reduction; but I take in far fewer calories and no lactose or fructose or insulin boost – all of which was happening to me before!

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Blogger David said...

John Rowley is Bestselling Author, TV & Radio Show Host Contributor to Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, Director of Wellness ~ International Sports Science Association

He sent this brilliant message in a recent email about how to overcome cravings for "The #1 WORST food to EVER eat (if you want to lose belly fat)

It belongs with the other information in this post!

Hey! Knowing how to beat cravings for the number one worst food would really help!

Here's John: "The #1 WORST food to EVER eat (if you want to lose belly fat)

TODAY I'm here to tell you all about what is undoubtedly the absolute WORST food of all time.

Is it Twinkies? Maybe McDonald's French fries? Biscuits and gravy? Soft drinks stuffed with high fructose corn syrup? Lard? Cheese-stuffed crust on a meat lovers pizza? (Really? We need cheese in the crust, too?)

Hmm... although all of these foods are at the top of my "bad" list, they aren't the WORST.

Nope. The worst food ever is ... drum roll please ...

any food that you can't stop eating.

(That's so important take a moment to read that sentence again.)

I'm talking about your personal "trigger foods." You know, that one food that you'll eat until you make yourself sick.

For me it's ice cream. For others it's chocolate or something crunchy and salty like chips.

If it's in my house ... I'll come up with dozens of excuses on why it's okay to eat it. "I'll workout extra hard tomorrow." Or, "I ate really healthy today so it's okay to cheat." Or, "I don't care ... give me that darn ice cream scooper!" =)

The key to getting (and keeping a flat belly) is recognizing these trigger foods and keeping them OUT OF YOUR HOUSE.

Really. This tip alone can save you thousands of calories every week.

So today's take home message is this: make a list of your top three trigger foods and "send them packin'."

My comments: This happened to me! So I can really relate to this strategy."

Just after I lost down to 3 pounds below my goal weight and likely was a bit hungrier, I decided to eat a single spoonful of heart healthy almond butter each evening if I was too hungry to sleep well.

Almond butter in amounts more like 3 spoonfuls a week IS heart healthy. But I found it had this exact effect on me that John describes!!

And, by being unable to stop myself from having more like 3 or 4 spoonfuls a night, I quickly gained back that 3 pounds and 6 more!

So, I stopped buying Almond Butter to bring home -- finally! Now I've lost some of the extra 6 pounds again.

But, if I'd read John's tip before that and stopping having almond butter easily available at home a lot sooner, I'd be lighter and less fat now!

So I decided to be sure to post his message as a comment today.

1:11 PM  

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