The Top Causes & How To Stop Food Cravings

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Your body is so amazing. It automatically knows how to breathe; your heart never misses a beat and it repairs itself with no conscious input from you.

So why when we experience cravings should we see them as a sign of weakness?

We use willpower to overcome them and when our “willpower tank” depletes we start feeling bad about not being able to overcome our cravings.

Lets look at you compared to the average individual.

If you’re an entrepreneur or high achiever like myself, you often have more pressures on you emotionally, financially and intellectually. You get faced with problem solving and handling challenging situations more than the average individual. Sometimes we burn the candle at both ends while your team goes home to relax after they clock out.  Because of this you burn through neurotransmitters and micronutrients more than others. High achieving entrepreneurs therefore can have a harder time with addictions and food cravings.

Increased stress and the entrepreneurial lifestyle has been shown to deplete the following micronutrients, which are related to specific symptoms including food cravings:

  1.  Vitamin C, which is linked to fatigue, food cravings, easy bruising, joint pain, muscle fatigue and low immunity.
  2.  Vitamin E, which is linked to hormone imbalances, mood swings, food cravings, low immunity and eye-sight degradation.
  3.  Calcium, which is linked to nervous irritability (anxiety), muscle spasms and twitching, bone loss issues (osteoporosis and osteopenia), cavities, depression and hypertension.
  4.  Magnesium, which is linked to arrhythmias, dizziness, muscle twitching, hyper-irritability, tiredness, depression and hypertension.
  5.  Chromium, which is linked to blood sugar issues, metabolic syndrome, sugar cravings, fatigue and brain fog. Very commonly found in people that eat too much sugar, alcohol and carbohydrates.
  6.  Zinc, which is linked to low energy, dermatitis, ance, decreased immunity, alopecia, digestive issues, white spots on fingernails, infertility.
  7.  Glutathione, which is linked to high cholesterol, plaque formation, high blood pressure, rapid aging, immunosuppression, increased inflammation and pain.

How To Stop Food Cravings

how to stop food cravings

Cravings are your bodies way of telling you it needs something or something is out of balance and so becoming better at listening to the messages your body is giving you can help you understand and overcome cravings.

No willpower required.

When experiencing cravings think about the foods, deficits and behaviours in your life that may be the underlying cause of your cravings. Deconstruct them by asking yourself what does my body want and why?

So today I want to go over some common causes of cravings as well as some specific things your body may be after when you are craving sugar or salt.

Common Causes of All Cravings

1. Dissatisfaction or Boredom 

Do you get cravings when your bored, or stressed? Uninspired by the work you are doing or lacking a spiritual practice? Eating can sometimes be used as a substitute for a void in your life. Maybe you are dissatisfied with a relationship or you just aren’t getting enough exercise in your day. Take stock of whether these things may be out of balance before reaching for the donut.

2. Water 

Drinking water is super important for the health of every cell in our body and so when your body starts to get dehydrated it will start sending you signals that may in some cases manifest as hunger. When experiencing any cravings try drinking a big glass of water first and see if that helps.

3. Seasonal

Often the body craves different foods in different seasons or cravings can be associated with different holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. Try making healthier versions of your seasonal favorites to satisfy your cravings.

4. Hormonal

Hormones can cause unique cravings so being aware of this and keeping your diet based on whole foods can help balance your hormones. Avoid processed foods & refined sugars.

5. Lack of Nutrients 

If the body has inadequate nutrients it will produce seemingly odd cravings for often either sugar or salt, which I will go over more below. However if your body is generally under nourished you may find it craves non–nutritional forms of energy such as sugar or caffeine. A high quality multi-vitamin such as this one can also help to eliminate deficiencies and the associated cravings.

Sugar Cravings

Did you know that Americans eat around 152 pounds of sugar per person per year? That is a staggering amount! Add that to the additional 146 pounds of refined flour we eat on top of the 152 pounds of sugar and we have a recipe for not only obesity but some extreme sugar cravings.  Added sugar and refined flour (as well as MSG) are highly addictive and so eating these in excess can seriously lead to some cravings.

Don’t think that you can load up on artificial sweeteners to beat your sugar cravings. It turns out the sweetness from non-caloric artificial sweeteners actually disrupt your metabolic response to real sugar which can result in weight gain & diabetes. You body knows its being fooled by a sweet taste but no calories and so it will start to signal more and more to your brain to keep eating until those calories are received.  

How to Beat Sugar Cravings

how to stop food cravings

Sugar cravings don’t have to just be a part of life and there are a number of things that you can try to eliminate sugar cravings and therefore reduce the amount of sugar you are consuming as part of your diet.

1. Eat a healthy meal

Remember cravings are most often caused by your brain calling for a reward rather than you actually being hungry. However if you think you might actually be hungry then make sure you eat a healthy meal. I know you feel like ice cream, not a healthy meal, but make yourself a healthy meal anyways to help cravings subside. Try and make sure as well that you add some healthy fats into the meal as healthy fats can really take the edge off your sugar cravings.

2.Take a hot shower

If you’re at home or it’s at all possible, taking a hot shower can really help when a sugar craving strikes. Stay in for at least 5 minutes and let the hot water relax you. When you come out again its unlikely that you will still have the same cravings.

3.Exercise

Even just going for a walk for 5 minutes can be enough to distract you from your sugar cravings. Exercise also releases endorphins which makes you feel good even without the chocolate bar.

4.Sleep well, De stress

When you are getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night your body will secrete more Ghrelin the following day. Think of Ghrelin as the word implies “Ghrrrr” is the sound your stomach makes when you’re hungry! This is your hunger hormone. When you’re sleep deprived you get more sugar cravings and crab cravings, and even after you eat you still aren’t satisfied.  Getting high quality sleep, ideally 8 hours per night, and avoiding stress or taking measures to reduce stress such as a daily meditation practice can help avoid sugar cravings dramatically. Click here to learn more about our top sleep hacks. Click here to listen to a podcast I did with CEO of meditation device muse.

5.Consume Healthy Fat!

High Performers that consume health fat in the morning and throughout the day have less sugar cravings. In fact if you consume a tablespoon of healthy fat such as blended butter in your coffee or tea and put healthy fats on your food, you will carve those sugar cravings quite dramatically. This is my favorite hack for overcoming unhealthy food cravings.

Advanced Method for Eliminating Sugar Cravings

An advanced strategy for eliminating sugar cravings is to try intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting can also really speed up your body’s ability to burn fat and I talk about a whole bunch of other benefits of intermittent fasting in this video HERE.

Trying this out for the first time? What I would recommend is to simply restrict the window of time that you eat throughout the day to around 8 hours. So skip breakfast and have lunch at 11am and dinner at 7pm, which leads to a 16 hour fast each day. Fasting for these 16 hours helps to deplete your glycogen stores and gets you shifted over into fat burning mode.

Eat Real Foods

Although being aware of what your body may be after and also implementing the strategies above will help to get sugar cravings under control. Eating real foods including lots of fibrous vegetables and healthy fats will not only massively improve your health but will also reduce cravings to the point where they are no longer an issue for you.

Dr. Jones Food Craving Conclusion

I deal with cravings just like the rest of us. Some cravings are normal, others aren’t. Normal food cravings comes out of the desire to consume healthy nutrients. Our body will scream at us to consume healthy foods. When we consume empty calories, we end up not satisfying the micronutrient and macronutrient supply our bodies need. This is another reason why we start to crave more sugar and unhealthy food.

The best lifestyle that any entrepreneur can live that can help to combat this is to go to bed at the same time each night, get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, consume healthy fats throughout the day, drink plenty of water, eat whole foods, and consume an organic vegetable and fruit derived multivitamin that you can get at my store HERE.

To find out more about your health and whether a customized approach is the way to go for you, take our High Performance Quiz. Click below!

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