Does this sound familiar?
You hear about this wonderful diet that will guarantee weight-loss, so you try it, only to gain even more weight back a few months after you’ve lost it.
Don’t feel bad. You are not alone. Many diets are still based on counting calories using a formula meant for the general population as opposed to a diet that is just tailored to you. Everybody processes calories differently. A calorie is simply a way of measuring how much energy you can expect to get from a macronutrient (carb, fat or protein).The old standard diet formula supported that caloric output exceeds caloric intake and will therefore promote weight loss. We now know that this premise is not true at ALL! Every calorie is not created equal!
From now on don’t worry about counting calories so much, it’s very misleading and not good for your health. Instead think of food in terms of nutrient density.
What is nutrient density?
Nutrient density refers to the amount and variety of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients) carried by each calorie of that particular food. Calories consumed from spinach or sweet potatoes are much more nutrient-dense than calories consumed from a processed, low-fat high sugar donut. Micronutrients feed complex information to your cells, through vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Every bite you eat sends a set of coded instructions to your cells that can create either health or disease. Some calories are addictive, others are healing, some calories are fattening and some boost your metabolism.
Eating whole, nutrient-dense foods help you make nutritional deposits into your body’s “bank account”, your cells! These are the healing calories that boost your metabolism!
Nutrient-poor foods on the other hand, like sugar and processed foods, ask your body for a withdrawal of micronutrients from the cells or bones without making a deposit of micronutrients in return. These are the empty and addictive calories, the ones that make you sick tired and fat because they contain no nutrients. Always remember that not all calories are created equal!
I know most of us have been on that good old diet roller coaster, I have. The one in which before you even started you believed that by depriving yourself of the foods you loved, you would loose the weight. Unfortunately entering into a program with this mindset clearly does not support success.Why? The constant experience of deprivation will bring on food cravings that will be difficult to ignore.
Diets don’t address cravings or teach you how to handle them.
Everyone has cravings. Having the tools to help navigate through those cravings and reach for healthy food alternatives will help to eliminate them. Cravings are one of the biggest hurdles to cross when trying to make positive changes to your diet. They can completely destroy all your good intentions because sometimes cravings can be almost impossible to control. Cravings can be for just about any food, but usually people have cravings for sugar or carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are what our bodies use for fuel, especially brain fuel, but the problem arises when we don’t differentiate between good carbs and bad carbs.
Cravings often happen because of nutritional imbalances and their causes are many:
- Food sensitivities: The very foods we are sensitive to may cause us to crave them.
- Blood sugar imbalances. Regulating your blood sugar is THE foundation of health. Being on the blood sugar rollercoaster will cause massive cravings.
- Endocrine imbalances: Adrenal dysfunction may cause sugar and salt cravings
- Low serotonin levels: Low levels in the brain and gut cause carbs cravings, because sugar raises your serotonin levels temporarily.
- Yeast and bacterial overgrowth: Gut infections feed off sugar and carbohydrates. They will send your body signals that they need more sugar.
- Micronutrient deficiencies: Are you eating processed foods all the time? Is your body’s “energy bank account” overdrawn? Depleted? Count on sugar cravings.
- Unbalanced meals. What’s on your plate? Do your meals contain a good balance between healthy carbohydrates, clean protein and healthy fats?
What if your cravings were substantially reduced and you were actually comfortable eating less sugar and processed foods? By adding in new nutrients dense foods that provide the nutrition your body needs I help you overcome your cravings. Until you uncover the underlying reasons why you’re eating and craving sugar, it can be difficult to make a sustainable change.
Learning which foods truly nourish your body and which don’t is the best approach to obtain weight-loss and optimal health.
Food sensitivities are the number one reason why people don’t loose weight and have nutritional imbalances!
My Gut Restoration Program helps you address your food sensitivities and yes they are unique to you! Your body has an amazing ability to heal, loose weight and rebalance if given the right foods and nutrients to do so! Through a simple lab test I screen for 150 food and chemical substances. Based on your results we design a 3 month program around the foods that calm down your immune reactions. This often resolves strong cravings and longterm inflammatory symptoms.
8 Tips to conquer your cravings:
- Eliminate ALL nutrient deficient foods from your diet. (sugar, white flour, deep fried foods, commercially baked products, white bread, white pasta, white salt, sodas)
- Start the day by eating a good quality breakfast! Breakfast sets your day’s metabolic tone, include high-quality protein with healthy fats and slow-release high-fiber carbs to keep you full and focused.
- Drink more water. Some people think that they are hungry when what their body really needs is water. When you feel yourself craving your favorite snacks, drink a large glass of water and get busy doing something that will take you away from thinking about the sugar monster.
- Eat more greens, sweet vegetables and fruit. The more you eat the less you will crave sugar. Packed with minerals and phytonutrients these foods make a healthy deposit in your nutritional bank account!
- Eat good healthy fats and clean protein with every meal! Eliminate fat-free and low-fat foods, these foods are too high in carbs and will create hormonal imbalances that will signal hunger and satiety (ghrelin and leptin) causing you to be hungry when you’re not.
- Find sweetness in non-food ways. Laugh more, get out in nature, do some art, exercise or spend time with people you enjoy.
- Experiment with the amount of healthy animal foods your body truly needs. Maybe it’s more and maybe it’s less. Both ways can cause cravings.
- Sleep and make getting enough sleep a priority in your life! When you are running on empty you will crave sugar so you can keep up with everything! Being sleep deprived causes sugar cravings and blood sugar imbalances.
I believe that starting to eat and move differently all starts with a baby step and can be life changing.