Yesterday I talked about calorie phobia, and why it’s not at all necessary http://holisticchickblog.com/2013/06/02/will-fruit-make-me-fat/. I told you that your body is never wrong, and now, as promised, I will elaborate on that and break down CRAVINGS as well with a quick Q & A ~
Q: What is the main cause behind my cravings?
A: In short, many things trigger and can contribute to cravings. Lets take a look at some of them now –
1) Your primary foods are out of balance – Primary foods consist of everything in your life that nourishes you body, mind and soul. Work life, relationships, recreation, sexuality and spirituality all contribute to your overall health, and when balanced, these components of your life make up your primary forms of nourishment. Foods you eat then become your secondary foods, as they are only your secondary forms of nourishment. Stress in any one of these areas will make you crave carbs, sweets and starches. This is because eating these things triggers your body to release endorphins, your natural happy drug.
2) You’re low on essential vitamins and minerals – It is entirely possible, and in fact very common, to be overweight, overfed, and yet starving to death for nutrients. In general, Americans eat ( here is where our carb/calorie phobia was born ) calories in excess that are empty of substance. Our stomach feels full from the weight of what we ate, and we put on the poundage of what we ate, but our bodies are still screaming at us to consume the essential compounds they need in order to keep functioning properly. Thus, we constantly crave more.
3) You are ( and crave ) what you eat – You’ve heard it before, every 35 days or so your skin replaces itself, using what you ate. The same is true of every cell in your body. Your cells are constantly replacing themselves, and they use what you eat to do it. Naturally, your cells crave more of what they are made of in order to nourish and replace themselves. You crave what you are made of.
4) You’re eating partial foods – And this directly ties into #2. You’ve hear the term ‘whole foods’ before, right? It really is a concept as simple as it sounds, but most of us are confused at first about what it actually means to eat a whole food diet. When we eat the SAD diet ( standard American Diet ) we’re consuming empty calories, and a lot of foods that have been stripped down, or ‘cut’. For instance, vegetables, fruits, clean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes – are all whole foods, pure in their original forms. Now candies, microwave dinners, prepackaged foods, frozen pizzas and ice cream – not whole. They consist are parts of foods all combined together as ingredients to create a new meal.
Foods eaten the way nature intended, pure and whole in their original form, are completely usable in your body. Remember I said your body is never wrong? It isn’t, it’s very smart. Your mind can over think anything, and often does, especially related to ‘diets’ and phads. Just because a phad diet makes sense to your brain, however, doesn’t mean for one second that it will make sense to your body.
When you eat a 100 calorie treat that your brain has decided is a very smart choice, your body is processing this load of combined ‘partial foods’, and saying, “what is this and where are all the missing pieces?” Your body is only designed to eat whole foods, and so when it realizes that something is missing from the equation, it tells you to find the rest! In this way, your cravings are often your body’s search, and nothing to do with your emotions or boredom.
Q: I’m overwhelmed. What steps should I take first, and how long will it take to get rid of my cravings?
A: My number one recommendation – don’t go it alone! This is where my job often comes in as a Health Coach, to act as a support system and a guide as you make goals and figure out what you need to do in order to reach them. You might also consider seeing a counselor, therapist, or some other kind of lifestyle coach who can help you get your primary foods in order. Your emotional wellbeing and happiness needs to come first for you to succeed.
Once you get a system in place for either healing/managing your emotional distress or eating a whole food diet, results always vary, but you can expect to begin seeing your cravings diminish within anywhere from 5 – 10 days in. Lifestyle changes are never easy, but with your primary foods balanced and someone you can lean on during the difficult times, theres nothing you can’t overcome!
Happy living guys!