Monday, February 28, 2011

How to STOP Sugar Cravings before they begin!

Those cookies sitting in the jar on the kitchen counter look pretty inviting.

Are they calling your name every time you walk by? Does just one whiff of fresh warm cinnamon buns get you to turn in their direction? Well we have all been there. We respond to stimuli on a continuous basis. As sensual human beings we are supposed to! Our hypothalamus regulates every hormonal process, our temperature and our hunger signals so that we don't starve, freeze or die of thirst.

However cravings are sneaky sometimes, and we can be mislead into believing they are real hunger signals. Sometimes they are, and most times they aren't.

Cravings are not to be ignored. They actually are great messengers of what is going on in your body, mind or emotional being. That is the key. You must figure out what type of craving you have, why it's there, and what is causing it. It's not that difficult.

Physiological craving: This is usually due to not having a balanced diet, so you may be dealing with a nutrient deficiency. Almost every chocolate craving I have seen in my clients is because of a calcium/magnesium deficiency. Correct that, and Cadbury becomes much less appealing.

Chronic DIETING, and low cal living will inevitably cause cravings. Its just simple physiology. Your body needs all essential nutrients, and when things get cut out or drastically cut down, YOU WILL CRAVE.

Mental/ Emotional Craving: Often is triggered by an upset, a negative belief or experience. BE PRESENT. Become AWARE of patterns, and what sets you off. Awareness is the first step. Write it down, draw it out, talk it out. Whatever gets you to "awaken" and become aware of whats going on.

Here are 5 Powerful ways I've seen my clients greatly reduce their CRAVINGS:

1. Drink H20- You may be walking around dehydrated. So what is really a thirst signal, is being interpreted as a FOOD need or hunger signal. Drink up, wait and you just may realize your body just needed a little watering.

2. Protein- You may not be getting enough. Protein helps stabilize insulin/cortisol levels. Often people wake up and have a cup of coffee and nothing else till the afternoon. Then they wonder why Snickers looks so good mid afternoon. You need protein, especially in the morning. Eggs, organic yogurt, quinoa, nuts, or a protein smoothie fit the bill.

3. Sleep- Not enough shut eye and your body goes into stress mode. Your adrenals kick up the cortisol, and now you may think your hungry and craving food, but really your craving rest. So make it a point to get quality sleep. Its not so much how long, its how well you sleep that matters.

4. Exercise- Its proven that activity, and even as little as a 10 minute brisk walk, can ward off cravings, and overeating in general. Get moving! On your coffee break, skip the line up for java, and get some fresh air instead. This simple short burst of activity can do wonders. not only will cravings be kept at bay, but you'll think clearer, ignite creative energy and improve your overall mood.

5. Breathe- I can't say this enough. Your breath is your direct link to your core, or higher Self. You directly can communicate by taking mindful breaths and practicing breath work. It affects your nervous system directly and is the most effective way to relax and bring you to the present moment. The only moment you really ever have :)

Let me know how it works for you. I welcome your feedback!