Do you feel as if the cards in the ‘healthy diet deck’ are stacked against you?
Understanding food cravings can help bring a measure of order to what often feels chaotic, and out of our control. How many of us have gone on the 4-6 week jag of making ‘healthy food choices’, forgoing processed junk, counting out exact serving sizes, and thinking we’ve got the diet system beat…only to ‘fall off the wagon’ and eat the entire sleeve of ‘snack size’ chips that were supposed to find their way into your kid’s lunch boxes that week?
In a downward spiral of guilt and loathing, all the healthy ‘habits’ you thought you mastered in the past month go up in a puff of smoke like so much Cheeto dust blown off your orange little fingers. How could you have failed again? Will you never be disciplined in the area of eating? Why is it that some of the people you know (and secretly hate) appear to have mastered this skill of ‘nutritional consistency’ that forever seems to eludes you?
Well, what if it is not as mysterious and incomprehensible as we’ve always thought. What if I told you the cards are stacked against you… and purposefully at that! What if the fact that you find it almost impossible to stick to the recommended serving size of Pringle’s/Haggen Dazs/Chips-A-Hoy ect. is not based on the possibility that you’re an undisciplined pleasure seeker, but is due to the fact that these foods are scientifically engineered to make it a near impossibility not to over-eat!
Ever hear the term ‘bliss point’? Neither had I. You know who is on intimate terms with this concept, and makes billions of dollars utilizing this knowledge every year? Watch the two videos below, and I’ll meet you on the other side…
Now, here’s the kicker: regardless of all these facts that you were not in possession of prior to watching these videos, you are still responsible, and in control of every piece of food you put into your mouth. With all the power and money at their disposal, no one can make you eat anything you choose not to.
Then there is the question of why you’re craving that quick sugary, salty, simple carb food that ranks high in calories, but low in nutrition & satiety. These are a few culprits that may be behind your ‘food cravings’:
Understanding Food Cravings ~ How To Stay In Control Of Your Appetites
Hormonal Imbalance: Many women, especially those who have certain chronic illnesses (FMS/CFS/ME ect.) will have a hormonal imbalance. Ask for a blood draw to check the levels of your hormones the next time you go in to see your doctor. Leveling these little buggers out will go a long way towards stabilizing your food cravings and overall health.
Adrenal Fatigue: Cortisol levels are off in people suffering AF. Cortisol in the correct amount is necessary for blood sugar balance. When blood sugars are too low food cravings follow as the body tries to solve its need for ‘energy’ (food).
Eating ‘diet food’/Artificially Sweetened Soda: Find Diet Coke/Pepsi addicting? I did. To this day, I have to fight the urge to order diet soda with my meal. It’s so counter productive to weight loss that it would be laughable if it wasn’t so destructive to our health. Artificial sweetener stimulates appetite, and creates cravings for more carbohydrates. STOP STOP STOP CONSUMING THESE CHEMICALS!
If there is a type of food that tests your self-control beyond its limits, don’t keep it in the house! Keep whole food, fruits, healthy snacks ect., and eat these on a regular basis. My ‘processed food’ cravings remain at bay when my diet consists mainly of whole foods.
Moderation is the key to health and balance! Don’t deny yourself your favorite ‘junk food’. Just take the necessary precautions (you know what your needs and temptations are) so that you don’t over indulge. If you over do it once in a while (we all do, even those people mentioned above who you hate), just push your re-set. Start again and move forward!
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