Recently I was asked by a client what she could do about her food cravings. Right away I gave her a few ideas, but as I had a little more time to think about it I realized this would be a great topic for a radio show or perhaps an article.
The subject of food cravings has always come up with my clients and I don't know if I have truly addressed the issue straight ahead. Perhaps I have side-stepped the issue a little because for me I have always exercised willpower over my body.
Willpower Vs. Cravings
My wife considers me as a person with an "Iron Will," that's to say she sees that I have the ability to do what I call flipping the switch. Personally, I think this is something anyone can do for a specific period of time when they have a strong enough reason why.
What concerns me a little is what I might offer as a suggestion for people in the interim—that is to say, until I can go threw the process of helping my client to find their reason why, what information do I have locked away in this big head of mine that can help them to avoid these cravings?
Is this an issue as simple as avoiding or limiting some things and implementing others, or is it a psychological issue?
Many times I have heard experts make the claim that it you crave something then your body must need it. I thought this sounded like it could be true, but one day I had a client who said when she was pregnant she craves toxic chemicals...
She actually wanted to eat things like soap, detergent and household cleaning products. Thankfully she never did, but this craving she had got me thinking this idea of needing what you crave must not be true!
It would seem that most people feel less than empowered when dealing with this subject and feel that they "can't" overcome these cravings. Now, I'm a big "I Can" guy! I like to look for solutions instead of throw up obstacles. I don't believe in limits and don't care for excuses. It comes down to "How bad do you want it?"
With education and persistence we discover solutions. I think I can find a few solutions to this topic! So, let's start with the belief that "We can successfully overcome food cravings"! With this belief in mind, you are ready to move ahead and decide if the following tips will be worth putting into action.
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Things To Implement
Take A Multivitamin
Many cravings are thought to be a sign of nutrient deficiency from our foods. One simple way to start correcting these deficiencies is to take a basic multivitamin and mineral supplement. It is not necessary for this to be a mega dose pack of micronutrients. A little can go a long way to correcting deficiencies when taking a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement.
With the correct amount of nutrients in our system, the mind and body work as they should and are less likely to trigger cravings.
Eat More Fruits And Veggies
How many times have you heard this one? Well, I'm a nutritionist so I guess it's my job to hammer this one into your head a little more.
The reality is that we don't typically eat enough fruits and vegetables and while we think we may not like many of our veggies, I argue that you can learn!
Most people acquire a taste for coffee to provide a quick pick-me-up and acquire a taste for alcohol to relax. All I'm asking here is for you to acquire a task for something that will help you live longer!
Have Good Fats
Good fats are hard to find—well that's not true—but they are impossible to make, so we must consciously select foods that have the essential fats our body needs or we need to supplement with these fats.
Now to find these fats you can select:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Flax oil
- Sesame oil
- Coconut oil
- Fish oil
- Primrose oil
- And many types of raw nuts and seeds.
Things To Limit Or Avoid
Limit Processed Foods
By eating 80% or more of our foods from only natural foods and limiting our "man-made" processed foods, we insure that we are less effected by ingredients such as neurotoxic additives designed to create drug-like addictions to these foods and just more food in general.
Limiting processed foods also reduces our consumption of hydrogenated oils and homogenized fats. Instead, eat foods that are fresh, and whenever possible eat organic foods.
Limit Sugar, Alcohol, And Refined Carbs
It is not a good idea to have foods high in sugar as it triggers insulin and is likely to leave you with unstable blood sugar which can cause powerful, addictive desires and further cravings for sweets, alcohol and other substances as well.
It is also wise to avoid these things as they do store very quickly into adipose tissue, making you hold more body fat.
Limit Refined Salt
The American Heart Association recommends a salt intake of no more than 1,500 milligrams a day. The average American consumes 4,000 milligrams a day, resulting in over 150,000 Americans dying each year.
Fast-food restaurants and dining out along with many processed foods are believed to contribute to almost 80 percent of the salt in the American diet.