We all know what it’s like to crave something. That indescribable feeling that seizes your body and convinces you that you will go insane unless you put __________ (fill in the blank) into your body. While over 70% of the population can resonate with this feeling, many don’t understand why they occur or how to best nip them in the bud so they don’t drive your dietary decisions and interfere with your health goals. Cravings stem from a variety of possible causes, ranging from psychological imbalances to physical deprivation. By understanding how cravings are created, you can conquer them once and for all!
Break the Habit: The reality is, that habits are easier to make than break. Many of you were trained from a young age to expect a sweet treat after certain meals. As an adult, changing this “comfort” behavior can be difficult as our synaptic pathways are stubborn. Many people feel obligated to eat something sweet after a meal, when they are not even hungry! Chemically, repeated behavior engrains synaptic pathways that make the action easier and more likely to occur in the future. This type of craving is dangerous because it takes doing something different to kick the habit. Studies show that habits are broken in 30 days or less. Try one of these craving cutting tricks below instead of your usual routine to say goodbye to your cravings for good!
1. Plate it! If you have trouble stopping yourself while having a snack or sweet, plate it and put it away! Decide beforehand how many of a snack you want, and then put it out of reach. Studies reveal that if a snack item is within arm’s reach, you will eat up to 30% more than if it was put away. Break off a square of dark chocolate, take out three dried mango slice and walk away. Snacks can also be small portions of nutritious meals, such as a mini Probiotic and Enzyme Salad. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to check out more BDS friendly dessert options.
2. Peppermint Essential Oils: Peppermint oil is a natural appetite suppressant, among other things extremely beneficial for the body. It is one of the most highly regarded herbs used to heal. Along with it’s suppressant characteristic, peppermint oil has been found to increase focus and mental alertness by 30%. It is the most powerful straight on the tongue, and can also be enjoyed by putting a few drops in a half glass of water. Feeling like dark peppermint chocolate? Squeeze a drop of peppermint oil on your tongue followed by a bite a dark chocolate for a rich and delicious treat!
3. Lemon… anything! Starting and ending your day off with lemon juice and water is a sure-fire way to gently cleanse and sponge out the colon after a full 8 hours of natural bodily detoxing. Some people like their water bitter, while others like it sweet (by adding stevia). Neither is better than the other, the benefit is in the chemical makeup of the lemons, which is very similar to the juices that you have in your saliva and stomach, called “anionic” molecules.
4.Walk it off… Literally! This is a win-win. Going for a brisk walk will kick your cravings while burning extra calories. Walking once daily will fire up your lymphatic system and massage your intestines ensuring proper digestion. If I’m craving something I go for a walk in the park or down the street, and often I forget what I was craving!
5. Probiotic & Enzyme Salad. Basically raw sauerkraut, I recommend consuming 1/2 cup at dinner of my easy recipe. It is full of probiotics, which help balance the ratio of good-bad bacteria in your intestines, as well as potent enzyems. Having enough good bacteria in your system helps you synthesize nutrients better. This salad is also a huge help for sugar cravings because they help balance yeasts like Candida albicans in the body, which are fed by sugar and contribute to the sugar cravings themselves.
6. ZZZ’s: Lack of sleep reduces the amount of leptin in your body, a hormone that regulates when to stop eating. When leptin is out of balance, the counter hormone, grehlin, sends signals to your body that it is hungry when it is not. Sleeping enough each night (7-9 hours) is vital for reducing your cravings and balancing your body’s hormones.
7. Sweeten up the side dishes: Another option is to dress up your meals with a sweet side dish. Satisfying your taste buds during a meal can prevent cravings post-meal time. Try carrots or my sweet potatoes recipes- Like Ganesha’s Sweet Potatoes or Italian-Style Sweet Potatoes, found in The Beauty Detox Solution.
8. Water, water, water: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, water is a natural appetite suppressant because it prevents dehydration. When the body is imbalanced, it can send false signals of hunger and lead to a strong craving for something savory or sweet. It’s always a good idea to drink some water before attending to a craving. Be sure to drink between meals, and consider doing a water cleanse when feeling your body feels sluggish.
9. Chlorella “Craving-Reducing” Tablets: Chlorella stabilizes blood sugar levels and provides nutrition, effectively allowing you to gain nutritional value while losing the crave for empty calories. You can find these at your local health food store. it is always better to “eat” your way out of cravings (no pun intended) than to add supplements to your diet. These should be a last resort, not the solution!
10. Glowing Green Smoothie (GGS): The best long term strategy to cut cravings is to deliver a high amount of nutrition on an ongoing basis. Having a GGS once daily will provide tons of antioxidants and live enzymes. When your body has the nutrition it needs, you will find that over time, your cravings nearly disappear and will definitely get much, much better.
Taking preventative measures like starting each day with a Glowing Green Smoothie will enrich your body in minerals and vitamins that are invaluable for proper bodily function.