Cause of Cravings
Carbohydrate cravings can result from a complex myriad of causes, many of which are inextricably linked. In short, cravings are a result of imbalance(s) in the mind and/or body. Emotional, hormonal (it’s that time of the month), not enough sleep/leptin resistance, low levels of serotonin and/or endorphins) and/or gut bacteria imbalances.
This is why the solutions are not as simple as just removing sugar and processed food from your diet. And when it comes to overcoming our addiction to sugar or most things for that matter, it is not about willpower. It’s equal parts correcting the underlying imbalances and changing our behavioral patterns. One, without the other, will not create sustainable change.
Check out my recommendations below for a quick fix for carb cravings, then explore the five steps and other tips for kicking the addiction to sugar. Explore more by clicking on the pink links.
Quick Tricks for Killing Carb Cravings
These are my latest, fav go-to solutions for nipping a craving in the moment:
-Drink 1 packet or 1 tsp. of CALM magnesium in 12 oz filtered water. Take 500 mg 2 x a day ongoing for optimal health.
-Take 1 tsp of Glutamine or open 2 capsules under the tongue. I can't overstate the role magnesium and glutamine play in my MBR program protocols. Take the time to click on the links to learn more and for my specific Glutamine dosage recommendations.
-Peppermint Essential Oil - place 2-3 drops on the tongue
Eat a low-carb+protein+fat snack: 8 sprouted almonds or walnuts or a package of Justin’s Regular Almond Butter (keep those in your bag at all times for emergencies), a whole avocado with sea salt (the ultimate perfect snack protein/carb/healthy fat-wise) 1 tsp crunchy sunflower butter (similar to peanut butter but MUCH healthier).
Sugar is a Toxic Drug. It is 8 x more addictive than cocaine.
“Eating sugary foods, and even salt (hello chips!), (study) increases the production of endorphins in our bodies. Endorphins are basically opiates that make us feel relaxed. And when we eat carbs, our bodies makes more serotonin, the feel-good hormone. So when we eat these foods and experience this feeling, we want more—similar to the way drug users get addicted to narcotics. In fact, a recent study shows that sugar can actually have a more intense feeling of reward than cocaine (study).” - Kris Karr
Your body can burn sugar for energy...or it can burn fat for energy. Which would you rather? It’s a no-brainer, right? Make the below five changes and your body will begin to burn fat more efficiently, you’ll lose excess weight, have more physical and mental energy, and your mood(s) will stabilize.
My Fav Tried and Tested Solutions for Kicking A Sugar Addiction
1) Ditch Sugar for Stevia
or even better, Monk Fruit Sweetener
Here's how to make the process a wee less painful:)
Hydration is the Mind Body RE BOOT Program's third Healthy Habit. Your muscles, joints and organs, (including your brain), cannot function optimally without it. Your overall hydration can be tricky; even the healthiest people I know do not get enough fluids resulting in backaches, moodiness, sluggishness, late afternoon and other unnecessary cravings.
Proper hydration is not just about having enough fluids, it’s about having the right mineral balance. And many of us are magnesium deficient. See my suggestions below for best ways to hydrate and remember this rule of thumb: You need to drink approximately one-half your body-weight (lbs) in ounces each day.
Best ways to hydrate:
3) Eat a Low-Carbohydrate (20-100 net carbs) Diet rich in protein, high fiber veggies, beneficial fat and probiotic rich foods
In short, net carbs are total carbs without fiber (the indigestible portion of plant foods). The reason to use net carbs (aka available carbohydrates) is because it is widely believed that dietary fiber doesn't affect blood sugar and our body cannot derive any calories from it. The most important factor in successful weight loss on a low-carb diet remains its appetite-suppressing effect.
Listed in order of my preference for staying healthy while being humane.
Fiber From Green Things and Sprouted Nuts
35-40 Grams Per Day
Start consuming more high-fiber foods,
Fiber helps you stay fuller longer. It also supports detoxification by helping waste move through the body. And it can also reduce candida symptoms in your body. Candida is a major cause of sugar cravings.
Just a few of my highest fiber favs.
Get Your Healthy Fats In
Add Sour or Probiotic-Rich Foods to Your Day
Sour, Probiotic-rich foods like apple cider vinegar and fermented vegetables are sour because of the good bacteria found in them. They help fight off and reduce candida in your body, which in turn helps reduce sugar cravings.
4&5)Breathe/Practice Mindful Awareness//
I’ve combined tips 4 and 5 because they are both forms of “meditation” and stress management. So often we reach for something unhealthy not because we truly want it but because we want to feel better emotionally right now! We’re sad, angry, frustrated, exhausted, stressed...right? And it’s a habit we’ve developed over time to just reach for something crunchy, salty or sweet...high-carb. It’s so easy because very often there’s a bowl, or a bag, of that something within reach:)
Unmanaged, or unchecked, emotions cause conflict externally or internally, and sometimes both. By internally I mean, repressing our feelings. Not validating and dealing with our own feelings can lead to illness. Sometimes very serious illnesses. At the very least, it can lead to emotional eating.
In truth, a person or a situation does not have the power to make us feel stressed. It’s our perception that does that. How we choose to react to a given person, a situation...whatever it may be, can either cause conflict and more stress. Or not. It’s up to you. Yeah, yeah, you know...but I had to say it.
So if we don’t learn how to calm the mind and manage our emotions effectively, we will never kick the sugar addiction or achieve optimal wellbeing.
The first and easiest recommendation on this list is also the most powerful and it can be used anytime, anywhere. The others are great, too :)
Deep Breathe whenever you are feeling tired, stressed or anxious:
Practice Mindfulness Awareness
By practicing this one, simple exercise you can change your brain, the way you react to difficult people and emotions. You can change your stress response. But you need to practice every day for 60 days to rewire the neural pathways of your brain, and the way you habitually respond. As with physical exercise, you don’t get results from just doing it once in awhile, it’s requires real dedication and consistency for true change.
Mindfulness Practice For Dealing with Difficult Emotions.
Helpful Apps & Programs:
Nom Nom the Paleo
Keto Diet Food List-What to Eat and Avoid
Mind Body RE BOOT App and Program
Change is hard. And changing the way we eat, the way we deal with emotions and the way we manage stress are the hardest changes of all because most of us have been doing what we’re doing for a long time, right? Let me know if you want some help getting started and getting through the first and most challenge phase.
Magen's Faves Blog
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