Combat Cravings And stay fuller longer
Hi, friend! I’m so excited to share this one with you :) Below is a taste of what you need to know about curbing cravings, craving healthier, and how to stop day dreaming about brownies at 3pm every day. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 6 of “To Kale & Back: Ditch The Rules And Learn To Thrive In Food, Fitness, And Life.”
I’m about to get a tad scientific, but just to show you why you might be craving Ben and Jerry’s every day, falling asleep at your desk, or feeling constantly hungry. We’re talking blood sugar levels. The sneaky little guys that make you go from bouncing off the walls to needing a nap in no time flat.
When we eat, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, causing blood sugar to rise. This presence of glucose in the blood stream signals the release of insulin, the hormone responsible for bringing blood sugar back to normal by allowing the glucose to be used for energy. Any excess glucose not used for energy is stored for later. The presence of protein, fiber, and healthy fat also slow the release of glucose to provide a steadier source of energy to the body and regulate blood sugar.
The issue is how the processing of our foods has become so mainstream that most people are used to eating high amounts of simple carbohydrates (quick release of sugar into the blood) and our bodies have become too good at releasing insulin. Often, too much insulin is released, and our blood sugar levels are brought too low. This signals to your brain that you need energy! The quickest form of energy? You guessed it, sugar. This is a very simple explanation as to why you may constantly be craving sweets and lower quality carbohydrates, your blood sugar is simply out of whack. Try adding more fibrous veggies, healthy fat and less processed foods into your diet and watch your cravings subside.
This also explains feeling exceptionally tired in the afternoon after a big lunch, or having to go for that third cup of coffee in the early afternoon. Your body is so busy trying to break down and digest your food there’s no energy left to look at your fifty-seventh spreadsheet Bob needs you to take care of.
When you create each meal to include a portion of protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrate (if not with veggies, be sure to include a veggie as well – don’t forget those mircos!) your body can more easily process the meal to provide a steady release of energy throughout the day as opposed to a quick burst of energy followed by a crash from a meal lacking balanced macro nutrition. By adding more balance into your meals you will begin to have more energy, sleep more deeply, feel fuller longer, experience healthier cravings, and shed excess weight your body no longer needs.
Healthier cravings, did that grab your attention? I thought it might. It’s just the same as when you go out for a weekend of fun food and dessert every day, you come home and you find your cravings for junk food off the wall. Like a puppy that just found an empty jar of peanut butter. I nailed it, didn’t I? The more low quality foods you eat, the more you crave them. Same goes for healthier foods. When you eat more high-quality foods, full of colorful fruits and vegetables, your brain gets a “light bulb moment.” When you fuel your body in a way that it can use all of the food for energy and everything operates smoothly, you feel great. You’re more alert, no foggy brain, you sleep better, have a more positive mood, and so much more. You brain says, “Wait a minute, this is how it’s supposed to work! Give me more of that!” And you find yourself craving healthier foods more and more. This is why for those who have gotten into a healthy lifestyle, when they have a few less than nutritious foods their brain says, “Alright that was delicious but I really need some vegetables now,” and you crave healthier foods after weekends like this. Jackpot! Healthy made easy!
To get you to that point, I have a little secret to “resetting” your body after one of those necessary life moments like a night on the town, or a weekend in Napa Valley. Okay okay, its not really a secret. This could be referred to as resetting your body to its factory settings. Meaning, get your insides back to the point where they were created to operate at. This way, you feel your best physically and mentally, and your waistline may thank you as well.
As you already know, the body needs a combination of each of the three macronutrients. Furthermore, each time you eat your blood sugar rises and your body does what it knows to bring it back down to normal. Often times, eating less than nutritious things might include one or a combination of heavy carbs, heavy processed foods, alcohol, sweet treats, and so on. After a meal such as this, your blood sugar spikes much more than normal and it sends you on a drastic blood sugar roller coaster. To balance this out, and here’s the trick, a simple adjustment to your next meal (or few) is helpful: Reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your fibrous veggie (i.e. leafy greens, if possible) at the next meal. Skip the side of fruit with your veggie omelet or add some avocado to your omelet instead of the English muffin. This will reduce your intake of carbohydrate and subsequent glucose into the blood, naturally bringing your blood sugar levels back to normal.
The blood sugar roller coaster might be why people often set out for a diet style such as vegan, and still feel they’re either gaining weight, lacking energy, or both. This is because eating vegan doesn’t automatically make each food item high-quality or low sugar. It can still contain a high amount of refined sugar, sending you on the blood sugar roller coaster. For example, Oreos are vegan. Going vegan improperly, by eating too many of the less than nutritious yet vegan foods, could cause you to not receive adequate amounts of fiber, fat, or other nutrient deficiencies. Veganism is not bad, and if that’s what you choose, great. Just be sure to educate yourself on proper, nutritious, vegan-friendly foods to fulfill all macro-nutrient needs. This goes for any “style” of eating. I believe in no foods being off-limits, so I’m not an advocate for any “style” in particular if it makes you feel fantastic. Many individuals choose one for ethical or other reasons, but just keep this in mind.
There you have it friend! Click here to purchase “To Kale And Back: Ditch The Rules And Learn To Thrive In Food, Fitness, And Life” if you’re looking for a new self-growth book!