How to Stop Cravings

What to do when a cupcake talks to you.

 

I was working with a woman who mentioned that a cupcake in the next room was talking to her last night. I suspect it said something like: “Don’t resist me, I’ll give you a moment’s pleasure …you deserve it.”

Clearly the cupcake isn’t actually calling to us, something inside of us is craving it and we’re projecting it on that lump of flour and sugar in the kitchen.

Most cravings are caused by one of two factors:

1. Cravings caused by your physiology:

Cravings are often a symptom that your blood sugar is bouncing.

We all have a different level of blood sugar sensitivity. Meaning, everyone turns  carbohydrates into sugar different rates. Those of us who are very blood sugar sensitive (hypoglycemic and insulin sensitive mean similar things) digest our carbs quickly. When this happens, more sugar gets dumped into our bloodstream at once.

Why is that an issue?

When the sugar from the cookie, bagel or pasta you eat rushes into your blood stream quickly rather than slowly trickling in you get a blood sugar spike. Your mood lightens as you experience a very short lived dopamine hit.

But…it’s unhealthy to have too much sugar in your blood stream so your body will release a rush of insulin.

Insulin tells your body to “store” so you’ll turn all that sugar into fat (and lay it down around your midline). In fact, this is the absolute easiest way for your body to make fat. It turns out that it’s much harder to make fat from eating fat then it is by eating carbs!

To make matters worse, insulin spikes work on overload, leaving you with a blood sugar crash. In order to get your sugar levels back to a normal level you’ll get a craving. Your body yells: ”Get me carbs now!”

At this point, it’s very hard to make a good choice and the roller coaster continues.

This cycle revs up during peri-menopause and menopause, which is one of the reasons women gain weight. Studies show that a female’s metabolism doesn’t decrease during this time….but actually their hormone sensitivity increases (insulin is a powerful hormone). It takes less to spike their blood sugars and affect insulin, making it easier to gain weight, especially around the middle.

At Shulman Health and Weightloss, we teach clients how to eat in a healthy manner so that cravings disappear and their metabolism is set to burn fat, not store it. All programs are personalized for our client’s health history and lifestyle needs. No gimmicks or “quick fixes” that leave you gaining more in the future, just life changing guidance from our wonderful nutritionists and dieticians.

 

2. The Emotional Aspect of Cravings

Of course, cravings can be emotional as well. Food represents many things to many people. Some of the most common include:

  • Freedom from boredom
  • I deserve it
  • Comfort and Relaxation
  • Celebration

If the occasional cupcake gives us pleasure I say go for it! But…if this is an ongoing dialogue, it’s time to make that cupcake pipe down.

What we’re craving isn’t actually the cupcake, we want to feel different.

This may be a key as to what we feel is missing from our lives. What are we hoping to gain from eating those carbs? Many have heard it said that our lives speak to us…who knows, maybe we are using that cupcake as a conduit.

The first step to “quieting the cupcake” is to listen to it. Tell yourself that you can eat that cupcake in a moment but for the next minute you’re going to notice how you feel. See if you can get a sense of what that cupcake means to you.

Once we become conscious of what we desire we can ask ourselves what else provides us with that feeling. Have we gotten so busy that we have forgotten to find joy and that cupcake is just trying to remind us?

Be patient with yourself. Unraveling the inner dialogue we have with food is the first step to creating a new relationship with it. A relationship where we get to do most of the talking.

At Shulman Health and Weightloss we work with our clients on both of these issues ensuring  the causes of cravings are being addressed. It’s been my experience that balanced nutrition is the first step as it makes the emotional aspects of cravings so much easier to isolate and heal.

If you’re suffering from cravings please set up a time for an initial consultation…and let’s make that cupcake pipe down for good!