At the primary level, cravings for food of any sort are down solely to instability in your blood sugar levels.
The scenario is one that will be familiar with all of you. You haven’t eaten for a while so you develop a fairly insatiable hunger; all that you can think about is a high carb meal, so that’s exactly what you go for.
The sugar content of the meal makes you feel almost instantly great; until insulin is released (ordinarily over released with higher carb meals), your blood sugar drops and you feel hungry and sluggish again!
It’s in this moment you’re going to again crave. The typical food cravings are foods high in sugar, wheat, processed fats – or the whole lot! There’s a good reason for this, eating this potent concoction will make you feel great in the same way that drugs or alcohol would. There’s even research to suggest that over time we develop a higher sensitivity to these foods – meaning you can have ‘junk food withdrawal!’.
The only likely outcome from repeatedly ending up in this scenario is fat gain. Your body is continually getting cues to eat more to raise your blood sugar and your body simply isn’t in a position where it can readily use calories from it’s own fat stores.
How do we begin to solve this?
Start with a lower-carb diet to help restore insulin sensitivity and increase your bodies readiness to burn fuel from it’s own fat stores. Plan your meals around Protein, healthy fats and vegetables instead of refined carbohydrates. When you do use Carbs, opt for lower glycemic sources such as vegetables. It’s always a good idea to combine Carbs with a Protein source to reduce your insulin spike.
Once you’ve determined which Carb sources work for you – try to eat them in the evening. This will allow your body the opportunity to work from body fat stores throughout the day and ensure it holds a steadier level of blood sugar. Carbs in the evening will also help curb your stress hormone levels, increase your feel good and relaxation endorphins such as Serotonin. Above all else, it also gives structure, routine, consistency and habit which are absolutely pivotal in long term success.
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