That’s interesting, hmmmm, feed your craving? Really? Have all the Cinnabon sticky rolls you want? Or crunchy-chewy-at-the-same-time toffee covered in chocolate?
Once cravings are understood, it’s easy to know the answer is NO. Many clients moan that all they want at that time of the month is chocolate and they will DIE if they don’t get it. Others crave chips and salsa at 11pm, or crunchy cereal and milk instead of supper. Some cravings are so intense, you will even get in the car and bust down the store door to get that food! What I have yet to hear is “Diana, I binged on broccoli all weekend long and just hate myself.”
Cravings manifest from being underfed – that’s right – underfed. How does that work? For starters, lots of men and women diet at breakfast, diet at lunch, then mid-afternoon, they blow the whole deal with something sinful and forbidden. Blaming themselves for being weak of character, they vow to have a diet supper of fat-free cottage cheese and green beans only to blow it again. Your body is hungry, friend. For food. Not restriction or abstinence of sustainable fare, or liquid diets. It’s when we let ourselves get to the point of eating anything in sight or everything-on-the-menu-looks-good that cravings hop on board our usually calm demeanor and send us wild-eyed in search of, yep, high calorie foods (carrot and celery sticks, anyone?).
Why? When your blood sugar gets low (this is folks without diabetes, it’s our regular mode of metabolism), a part of the brain detects those blood sugar lows. Then, your brain says ‘Get thee to the nearest Dunkin Donuts for coffee with sugar and cream and a muffin or donut or Boston creme pie or all of them.’ The brain sends out signals that increase the desire to eat. To eat. High. Fat. High. Calorie. Food.
The moral of the story: Eat regularly – have a meal plan and stick with it – with skipping meals not an option. Your blood sugar will be happier. Your brain will be happier. Your body will hence be happier. And ultimately, your emotions and mental abilities will be happier.
Journal of Clinical Investigation, published online 9.19.11.