Let's close Stress Awareness Month by reclaiming our food bliss -- and therefore our health. It's clear that we must intentionally defend ourselves from the unhealthy choices that surround us in order to find peace and satisfaction.
If you look at our culture's eating behavior, it certainly looks like addiction. Any situation is an opportunity to eat. Once we've started eating we don't seem to know when to stop, even when we want to, even when we know we're hurting ourselves.
Emotional eating only becomes a problem when it's overused to cope with or avoid feelings. If you feel that your emotional connections to food are causing problems for you, the following suggestions will help bring emotional eating back into balance.
Although curbing cravings can be difficult, particularly if you are already in a pattern of indulging, it is possible to better understand your cravings and make even small changes that have a lasting impact on your willpower.
The power of suggestion is indeed powerful. And, in my opinion, it's rarely to our benefit. Think about it -- when you have a craving, is it for something healthy like apples or spinach, chicken or salmon? Not for me.
If you have no understanding of pigging out, then nothing I say here will be of interest to you. Either your eating habits are under control or you actually prefer carrots over carrot cake. In any case, we can't possibly relate, so you're dismissed.
Let's continue our exploration of cravings. In my last post, we discussed how stress causes us to crave carbs. I also mentioned that sometimes, simply being hungry will do the same since carbs readily convert to glucose.
Cravings are, to me, some of the most interesting and most frustrating things when making lifestyle changes that involve food, alcohol or smoking, particularly because these habits often have a physiological origin.
Sweeteners condition our taste buds to want more sweet. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar triggers your brain and body to want sugar most of the time. If your blood sugar dips down, your body gets a signal to eat more sugar. It's almost as if your system has been hijacked.
Fighting your subconscious on anything is always a losing battle. You may have temporary gains, but over the long term, the odds are against you. There is, however, one facet to your relationship with your subconscious that will flip the struggle for supremacy on its head.
I understand that some people truly deal with emotional eating, but lately with the hype about low- or no-carb diets, I am encountering more and more people coming to see me with complaints of experiencing fatigue along with intense carb cravings.
Even if dessert is not usually your jam, you know what it's like to have a sweets craving. The need for sweets is real and unavoidable, and it often hits when there isn't much time to be spent slaving over a soufflé.