Sweet or Salty? Usually it’s one or the other, but all of it happens in the same part of the brain. If you are someone who gets cravings, then you are someone who is human. We all get them. Many of us continually give in, and some of us have figured out how to overcome it. The first step in this process is knowing why the craving is happening. Then, and only then, can we make a good guess as to what the best measure to take to beat that craving is! Are you really hungry? Are you mad, or sad, or tired or lonely, or thirsty? All of these things, and more, can play a big role in cravings.
Cravings happen in the parts of the brain that control memories, pleasure and reward. We often associate certain foods with certain feelings, and when we eat those foods we get a rush of endorphins, which is what our body is actually craving. Tricking the body out of this cycle is not simple, but it is possible. Here are some tips to help keep your cravings in check!
- Do your daily workout. Workouts help us manage stress which increase cravings.
- Get your 8 hours. A good nights sleep helps balance serotonin levels.
- Remove junk food from the house. Night snacking is a major culprit of weight gain.
- Eat real sugar, in the form of fruit. A morning protein smoothie is a great way to start the day.
- Drink water. Thirst can be recognized as hunger by the brain, so stay hydrated.
- Change the scenery. If you know you crave crap at night, plan a pre sleep stroll.
- Make sure you have enough healthy and lean protein in your diet. This can reduce late night snacking.
- Eat your veggies. They are nutrient rich and full of fiber, which fills the belly.
- Reduce or eliminate processed sugar. Sugar makes us crave more sugar. FYI, alcohol acts the same as sugar.
- Food logging can go a long way toward breaking habits that are unclear unless written.
I remember once at a party when I did not participate in the Safeway sheet cake someone said, “oh live a little!”. Isn’t living about feeling great, and choosing what makes our lives better? It’s not that I don’t eat sweets, I do, but they are in the form of real food (I should invest in Hail Merry Dark Raw chocolate!) That choice I have repeated, away from junk and toward a more headful way of living, is really living. I get this one body, ain’t no way that I’m eating a Safeway sheet cake. Ironically, the person who told me to “live a little” isn’t doing so well these days. It wasn’t just the one piece of sheet cake that did it, it was a series of choices that is now built up to bestow upon her Met S.
It’s one thing to have a “treat”, but treats don’t happen every day. That is called a habit. Every time we repeat a behavior we strengthen it. Ask yourself if that habit you are strengthening is something you are proud of. If it isn’t, then it’s time to break the cycle. At first it will be a fight, but over time, the habit will become weaker and YOU will be come stronger for it.
Here’s to living your BEST LIFE! 🙂 Coach Michelle
Written by: Michelle Brown on August 23, 2019.