How many times does it take to open the refrigerator and actually find something you didn’t find the previous 5 times? The answer is it’s an exercise in futility. I giggle a little with this because I’m guilty too. We have our meal and a little while later we start to think “Gee, I could go for something right about now.” We visit the fridge, nothing pops out so we check the cabinet and the same happens. There is a brief moment of reality and we know we aren’t REALLY hungry. We go back to what we were doing and repeat this process not too long after. We do it with the hope that we missed a little goody hiding in the corner. No luck. What’s happening is our cravings are kicking into high gear. Here are some common reasons this happens and what to do to combat them.
- Lack of nutrients
- You can eat a huge meal but if you don’t eat enough nutrients your body essentially says “Thank you but I need more because whatever you sent to me isn’t enough to fuel me completely.” So your body keeps asking for more. You need to be smart about what you eat or over-eating occurs.
ü Start by eating more vegetables and take a quality supplement to help you get back on track.
- Dehydration causes cravings. Do yourself a favor and drink a few cups of water and give yourself time to see if that will take care of the problem. You should stay hydrated all the time but when we fall off that path our bodies are quick to let us know we need to get back on the track.
ü Hydrate first thing in the morning (16 oz. of water before eating or drinking anything else) and 8 oz. of water before each meal and snack. This will help you get started on a good habit of hydrating AND keep you from falling into the black hole of cravings. Win/win!
- If you’re consuming too much refined sugar, your cravings will be all over the place. As fast as your blood sugar spikes, it will crash just as fast. This is when cravings are at the highest!
ü Keeping a balanced blood sugar level is critical. Remove any high glycemic load foods (foods that quickly enter the blood stream and cause the roller coaster effect you are trying to avoid). Nuts, seeds or vegetables for a snack will help curb the cravings.
- We have a bad day, a traumatic event or issues with a relationship and we grab the most convenient option (99% of the time it’s processed, highly refined foods that are not healthy choices). It’s fast and it’s easy BUT it’s the last place to achieve relief.
ü Learning to recognize your triggers is the first step. Train yourself to get up and move. Go for a walk, run or stretch to release pent up angst. Yes, easier said than done however, being aware and taking steps away from food when emotional hunger appears is critical. Seek assistance from a professional if needed.
If you know why something is happening, there is a very good chance you are on the right path to fixing the problem. Your body is an amazing machine and it’s a lot smarter than given credit. Start to listen to your body; its sole purpose is to create balance and the above recommendations are a good place to start.