The science behind cravings and keeping them in check
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Blood Sugar Rollercoasters
It’s important to note that these crashes in energy can also cause us to crave more sugary foods in order to reach those elevated levels of energy like previously experienced. That’s why sugary treats and beverages can cause a vicious cycle when it comes to cravings. The sweeter things we taste, the more we will crave sweet things – often even sweeter than what we typically consume. This is one reason artificial sweeteners are such an issue, they’re actually sweeter than sugar itself. Over consumption of artificial sweeteners will leave you craving sugar even more than consuming sugar will.
Short-term ways to managing cravings
- Craving sweets: try one cup of mixed berries with melted nut butter or a few dark chocolate chips drizzled on top
- Craving salt: try a small handful of lightly salted mixed nuts
- Craving starchy carbs: try unsweetened oatmeal with a sprinkle of granola or a small bowl of lightly buttered popcorn
- Take a walk, call a friend, listen to a podcast, read a book, do some light yoga or stretching, take a bath, etc.
Long-term ways to managing cravings
- Focus on making sure your meals are balanced. A good place to start is tracking your food in a journal or using an app like MyFitnessPal. Having a pulse on your food intake can help reveal areas where you’re deficient to help you better pinpoint the cause of your cravings. Keeping a journal on other things such as stress level, mood swings, emotions, etc. can also help you make a correlation to your food intake. If you’re not sure how to get started, you can reach out to one of our nutrition coaches for help.
- Start taking a high-quality multivitamin. No matter what type of eating plan you have, taking a high-quality multivitamin will fill in the gaps to ensure you’re getting proper micronutrients.
- Make a game plan for managing stress. If you’re not sure where to start, read this.
Through an assessment consultation over the phone, we walk through the results from your lab and talk through a game plan to incorporate dietary and lifestyle changes to help you combat cravings, achieve your goals and feel great.
– Julia Dugas, RDN, LD, CPT – Life Time Virtual Nutrition Coach, CORE360
This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.
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