Cravings. They are the nemesis of all who are trying to follow a better diet. What causes them? I believe they are a sign of insulin resistance.
In short, eating a high carb diet forces your body to burn sugar instead of fat for fuel, and since the body can’t store much sugar, it screams for more from outside very quickly.
If you currently eat a lot of sweets, or you’ve been following the low fat, high carb diet plans recommended by the “experts”, your body chemistry may be a little out of whack.
You may frequently feel an intense desire for bread, or ice cream or candy. This is not the type of need that’s normal, as the more moderate type of food desire in which you are thinking about dinner, and wondering, hmmm, what sounds good? Normal hunger says, “yes, I’m hungry but I don’t have to eat”.
The cravings that are hard to handle are the type that beat at your mind, whining and crying, until you finally break down and eat whatever it is your body is screaming for. I hate those kinds because I am not in control, the cravings are in control.
Here’s a little experiment that worked for me, and might help you beat these intense desires for carbs:
Stop eating the really highly processed foods, especially those that contain refined sugar and flour for a period of several weeks.
Those intense sugar cravings should go away after a week or two. After that, start listening to your body’s more normal signals of “what sounds good”. You’ll find you can pick up on these signals more easily, and you won’t feel like you are the slave to food. You may also find that you are less hungry.
I’ve found that the less carbohydrate I eat, the longer I can go without food, without feeling hungry.
Listen to Your Body
But, I’m not here to tell you exactly what to eat. You can figure that out just by paying attention to the state of your health. Although current research points toward a low carb, high-fat diet as the healthiest, your body may tell you something different.
Some people find their best diet for feeling well is a higher carb diet.
Here’s a good way to figure out what foods work for you:
Keep a food journal for a month or so. Write down what you eat, how much and how you feel afterward.
You will very quickly learn what foods make your body feel good, and what foods make you feel sick.
I believe it’s very important to listen to and trust your own body. Your own physical and mental well being are great indicators of what’s right for you to eat, and the best diet for you is one which makes you feel good.
For example, ask yourself how you feel right now. Is your head clear, does your body feel energized and supple, do you feel happy?
Or, do your joints hurt, does your head feel fuzzy, are you tired or sad for no reason? These symptoms could be the result of eating food that isn’t healthy for you.
If you pay attention to your body and trust its signals (in the form of cravings), it will most likely direct you to the best diet for you.
Here’s how to work in conjunction with your body, instead of against it:
Do your best to choose nutrient-dense, non-processed foods at each meal. When your body craves beef, trust it and assume your body needs iron or some other vitamin in which beef is rich. Have a clean, nutrient-rich, grass-fed steak or hamburger. You’ll find it tastes fantastic, you’ll feel better, and your body will stop craving beef. It’s that simple.
I do this, and it works pretty well for me. I feel good just about all of the time.
Of course, there are times, when I’m out with friends, or in a hurry, and I don’t always make the best choices. Yes, it tastes good, but I can tell you that I definitely don’t feel as well when I eat processed food.