We all get them.
And we all have our weaknesses when it comes to food – even naturopathic doctors!
Whatever your weakness is, though, most of it leads back to sugar. Refined and artificial sugars, specifically, like the white sugar we put in coffee, or high fructose corn syrup.
Our bodies crave this stuff, whether we know it’s bad for us or not.
Now, there are many reasons why refined sugar is bad for you, but that’s a subject for another article.
This article is about cravings and how you can overcome them.
How To Solve A Problem
We’ve all dealt with problems in our lives.
Big or small, it doesn’t matter.
The thought process is similar.
The first step toward solving a problem is to understand the problem in the first place.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” – Albert Einstein
Sometimes this step is easy.
If you have a broken window, for example, you already understand the problem.
And the solution is pretty obvious.
But when it comes to health, things are a little trickier. You may have cravings, for example, but if you don’t know where those cravings are coming from you won’t know how to control them.
So that’s our first step – figuring out where your cravings come from.
Where Do Cravings Come From?
It would be nice if cravings all came from one place.
Then I could tell you exactly what to do, and that would be the end of it.
This article could be a single paragraph long.
But things aren’t that simple.
Because each of us is unique, each of us has our own cravings and our own causes for those.
In fact, there are four main causes of cravings.
Your cravings may be caused by one of the four you find below, or a combination of two or more.
Read on to find out where your cravings are coming from and what you can do about it.
We’ve come to think of bacteria as a bad thing.
We use antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer to wash our hands, antibacterial cleaners to clean our houses, and when we get sick, medical doctors prescribe antibiotics to kill the germs.
The truth is some bacteria are bad. But most of it is good. In fact, you wouldn’t be able to live without it.
According to a recent research paper published in PLoS, the ratio of bacteria to human cells in your body is about 50-50.
That means your body is made up of as many bacterial cells as human cells.
So when it comes to calling the shots in our bodies, these bacteria have a lot of sway.
The same study above will tell you that most of these bacteria live in your digestive tract, mostly your colon.
By using your body’s vagus nerve, these bacteria can communicate with your brain and tell it what they want.
And what these bacteria love more than anything is sugar.
This is especially the case when you have a build-up of candida or other yeast in your body, which feeds off this stuff.
What’s the solution? Food with antifungal properties can make a big difference – like the lauric acid found in coconut oil.
Probiotics are also your friend here – they help promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your body.
Of course, it’s best to speak with a healthcare practitioner, like a naturopathic doctor, to find out what’s really happening and plan accordingly.
It’s always easier to avoid eating something when we’ve never eaten it before, and that’s because we have no emotional connection to it.
That’s why it’s easier for someone who was raised vegetarian to stick to a vegetarian diet than someone who transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle in their mid thirties.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having an emotional connection to food. In fact, it’s impossible not to.
We’re emotional beings, and we have feelings.
We eat with the people we care about, and that creates emotional bonds around food.
We see this in most community-oriented animals in nature.
Eating together strengthens social bonds.
But there’s an important question to ask when it comes to your emotional relationship with food.
Are you eating something because you want to increase your positive emotions, or because you want to decrease your negative ones?
In the modern world, we’re faced with a bizarre dilemma.
The prevalence of sugary, artificial food is all around us, making us fat.
At the same time, these foods are devoid of the essential nutrients your body needs to thrive.
So, paradoxically, many people today are both overweight and malnourished.
Your body recognizes this, and wants to do something about it, which sometimes draws us to the very foods we should be avoiding.
For example, most women love chocolate.
That’s a pretty safe thing to say.
But most women are also deficient in magnesium. And guess where you can find magnesium?
That’s right, chocolate.
Yes, you’ll get the magnesium you need.
But you’ll also get all sorts of drawbacks, especially if the chocolate you’re eating has added sugar.
Speaking to a naturopathic doctor who specializes in clinical nutrition can help you find out if you’re deficient in any particular vitamin or mineral, and how you can make that up with your diet or through supplementing.
Food is fun! It lights up all sorts of pleasure sensors in your brain.
But many of us don’t have enough pleasure in our lives these days.
Adults especially seem to have forgotten how to have fun.
We live our lives in stuffy offices or job sites, focused on working hard all the time.
And there’s nothing wrong with working hard, but we need to mix some pleasure into that as well.
For many people, though, the only socially acceptable pleasures for adults to indulge in are alcohol, sex, and, you guessed it, food.
So if you’re using overly sugary foods to fill a void in your life, you may want to think about where else you can find joy and excitement elsewhere in a healthier manner.
Contact Dr. Maria At Mindful Healing
When it comes to food, the question to ask is a simple one: is this food serving me, or is it covering up some sort of need in my life?
If you’re truly enjoying your food, you likely have a healthier relationship with it.
But if you’re using it to cover up something, there may be deeper issues.
To find out how you can improve your relationship with food and start living a healthier life, contact us at Mindful Healing.
You’ll get a FREE health and wellness session, where Dr. Maria will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and help you put together a treatment plan to help you enjoy a healthier, happier life.
Contact Mindful Healing Clinic to book your FREE health and wellness session today.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D