Got cravings?? Read this!Aug 03, 2023
Got cravings?? Read this!
Have you ever wondered why you suddenly find yourself craving a sweet dessert or reaching for a bag of salty snacks?
These cravings are not just coincidences; they’re a way of your body trying to tell you something.
For so many years after I ate dinner I would head right back to the pantry and stuff my face with anything sweet I could find, only to be riddled with guilt after…
The thing is, our bodies have evolved to seek out these tastes for important reasons.
Let's start with sugar. As you indulge in something sweet, your brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. This release reinforces the behavior, making you likely to crave more sugar. But why do these cravings intensify when we restrict ourselves from consuming sugary foods?
When we restrict carbs in general, our bodies interpret it as a potential threat to survival. Evolutionarily speaking, scarcity of glucose indicated a lack of energy resources. In response, insulin reacts to guard against potential danger. Insulin decreases blood sugar levels and promotes the uptake and storage of glucose in cells, but it can also lead to increased cravings for sugar.
Similarly, salt cravings are intricately linked to our body's sodium balance. Sodium is vital for numerous bodily functions, including maintaining fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction. When our bodies sense a deficiency of sodium, like if you’re doing a restrictive diet, hormones such as aldosterone and cortisol kick in to conserve and reabsorb sodium. These hormonal reactions can amplify our cravings for salty foods.
So it’s not you. You’re not a problem that needs to be fixed with your cravings. You just have to understand why they’re happening and be willing to nourish your body differently.
The relationship between restriction and cravings goes beyond just the physiological mechanism. It’s mental too! When you tell yourself “You can’t have this”, it psychologically makes you want it more. It's human nature to want what we can’t have, and this is true for food cravings as well. When we have these super strict rules on ourselves, we self-sabotage and increase the desire for the very foods we try to avoid.
So, how can we manage these cravings while promoting a balanced diet that heals our health and hormones?
It starts with understanding our body's needs and striking a balance. Incorporating moderate amounts of sugar and salt from real whole food into a well-rounded diet will help satisfy cravings while ensuring we meet our nutritional requirements.
Here are a few tips to help manage cravings:
1. Focus on nutrient-dense foods: Nutrient-rich meals help keep you satiated and reduce cravings. Make sure you’re including all the macronutrients because the restriction leads to cravings.
2. Savor natural sugars: Opt for fruits or natural sweeteners to satisfy your sweet tooth.
3. Opt for healthier salt sources: Choose mineral-rich sea salt or explore flavorful herbs and spices as alternatives.
Remember, it's all about balance. By providing our bodies with the right nutrients, respecting our cravings in moderation, and approaching our dietary choices with a healthy mindset, we can nurture a more positive relationship with food.
If you have chronic cravings and a negative restrictive mindset around food it can impact your mental health and how you feel in your bodies. At WBK, I wholeheartedly believe the path to results lies in promoting positive body image and empowering you to embrace your unique self. That's why I'm excited to introduce that I have two spots left to work one-on-one with me!
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