CHASING
THE BALANCE
Learn how to lean out and drop it like it's hot.

YOUR CRAVING INTERVENTION

Lori Wasserman - Author  | 
May 22, 2012
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Ummm, yeah we’ve never done that either. Yeah right!! We’ve ALL done it…

Some of us outwardly binge with no shame, some of us binge in secrecy (2AM kitchen fest), and some of us binge while we’re driving in the car (if no one sees me eat this, do the calories count?). Many of us turn to sweets and junk food for comfort, but at what point does comfort food become an emotional crutch?

In 2007, a study involving rats concluded that sugar is, surprisingly, more addictive than cocaine.  Hmm…ever wonder why they call coke “nose-candy”? Ever try to take someone OFF sugar? Whoa boy! It’s like weaning an addict off drugs; there are withdrawal symptoms, mood swings, and physical manifestations (headaches, stomachaches, sweats etc). We speak from first hand experience – we’ve weaned more than a few people off sugar and it was a bit nuts. Need more proof? Try to not eat any sugar for a week and see what happens inside your body. Feeling a little anxious about giving up sugar for a week? Maybe a little jittery, already making excuses about why NOW isn’t a good time to stop?…..Like an addict??

 

JUNK FOOD JUNKIES

So now that your sweet tooth has you thinking you may need this intervention, lets go over some ways you can curb your urges without the need for rehab:

Breakfast

You must eat breakfast. Low blood sugar levels lead to lower overall brain activity. The prefrontal-cortex, like the rest of your brain, is affected by the drop in blood sugar levels. This part of the brain is our center for self-control. You see where we are going with this? Eating a good breakfast with protein and whole grain fiber will keep you fuller longer, balance your blood sugar, and fuel your brain for the day ahead.

Chromium and Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Scientific evidence points out the fact that these supplements help balance blood sugar levels and reduce cravings. Consider these supplements the sugar junkie’s methadone, without the horrible side effects. Better yet, you won’t be casing the vitamin shop because you need a fix. PS: Chromium has also been proven to help fat loss. Double bonus!

Artificial Sweeteners…Not that Sweet

Some people assume that artificial sweeteners are a wise choice compared to regular sugar because they contain no calories. The reality is they are worse – much worse. First and foremost, your body has no idea what to do with this crap. Our bodies over work the liver and adrenal system to get the fake stuff out ASAP. It’s poison. The US government had first tested Aspartame (Nutra-sweet), as a biological warfare agent. Second, your body reacts to artificial sweeteners in the same manner as actual sugar. Insulin rises. Those sweeteners are up to 600 times sweeter than sugar, causing all your sugar-addicted cells to rush into overdrive.

Know Your Triggers

The brightest doctors and nutritionists on the planet can tell you what you should be eating, how many calories a day you need, and how bad junk food can be. What these professionals probably don’t know is about your childhood tradition of going to your grandmother’s every Sunday afternoon to bake cookies.  Now, as an adult, you’ve found a similar bag of cookies at the supermarket that can take you right back to your joyous nine-year-old self. Synesthesia at its finest. These bagged cookies temporarily soothe your cravings for sweets and comfort. Unfortunately, your metabolism is no longer as understanding, and grandma is not around to cork your pie hole as you swiftly approach the bottom of the bag.

The point here is to identify your triggers that will cause the cravings. So you’re going to your Aunt Gertie’s and you KNOW your favorite comfort food will be calling your name, freshly baked by Aunt Gertie herself. Before heading over, consider snacking on something healthy.  This way you will put a dent in your empty pit of a stomach, and the low blood sugar won’t drive you to devour ALL of  Aunt Gertie’s treats. As for the care package she makes you take home – you’re on your own.

 

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