Your body may be tricking you
I see so many clients each week, and hear the same words over and over: “I had a craving for______.” You can fill in the blank. When I hear those words, one of my first questions is “did you go too long without eating anything?” Usually that answer is yes! Then I ask how their week went as far as stress and commitments.
More often than not, I have found that clients that are trying to lose weight get frustrated with themselves when they make poor choices, and feel that they have no will power. I don’t believe in those words. I believe that cravings are more physiological than psychological. Don’t get me wrong, I think it can be a bit of both; however, it’s the physiological reaction that causes the psychological response.
Cravings are defined as “an intense desire to eat a certain food.” I believe almost everyone experiences this intense desire for certain “comfort” foods at times. For instance, pregnant women or premenstrual women might have different cravings than a male might have. Sometimes the cravings come from the fact that your body is missing some nutrient, like healthy fats, carbs, proteins or sugars. The body is smart and will let you know what it wants. That is the trick.
Identifying your triggers and then handling them by developing a strategy to give into the cravings on a limited basis and with the notion of portion control once you reach your maintenance goals. I teach clients to work with the cravings, not suppress them. I have found that when clients don’t allow themselves to have some “fun foods” on occasion, that leads to more splurging later.
Just remember, eating carbohydrates in excess make you crave more; in addition, eating excess fats makes you want to eat more fat. Usually eating extra protein makes you full and does not cause you to want more. The lesson is when in doubt, eat extra protein. That will regulate your insulin levels and not lead to excess cravings, which will actually help you have more will power to say “no thank you, not today”.
The brain is a powerful entity in our body. It is the director of all operations in the body. The key is to give it what it needs so it won’t cause you to desire the wrong fuel. Managing your blood sugars is the main job you have to keep your body in great shape, and manage your weight and health.