Cravings can make dietary changes challenging and ultimately make or break adherence to diabetes reversal. This is understandable — carbohydrates are seductive and addictive. However, with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can resist the lure of sugar and be liberated from the grips of cravings, forever.
Cravings are often coupled with strong emotions or habits and manifest from parts of the brain responsible for memory, pleasure, and reward. Our mind and body is wired to seek out pleasure and remember it.
Food is tremendously pleasurable and I'm sure you've experienced a mind blowing meal. It feels like your head is exploding with fireworks and you're overcome with euphoria — this is our happy hormone (serotonin) coming into play. The meal has rewarded your body with happiness, and your brain will remember it. The next time you smell or see the meal, cravings will nudge you to eat it again for another hit of serotonin.
What you'll also notice is that the more you satisfy cravings, the stronger they become. Even eating a smidgen of a restricted food will ignite a raging desire for more and more. This is because cravings are deeply connected with habits. With time and perseverance, you can recondition the reward system in favour of healthier foods and away from carbohydrates.
High calorie foods are normally the most desirable and feel as though they've been dipped in crack. There is good reason for this. Our bodies have been designed to withstand food scarcity — cravings instruct self preservation and encourage us to 'fatten up' when food is available. However, times are different now. There is no shortage of food, but we have maintained a yearning for high calorie foods.
You'd be mistaken for thinking that a low carbohydrate diet is bland or boring. It has one of natures most desired foods — fat. Switching carbohydrates for nutrient rich, fat is an effective and simple way to experience immense food pleasure and satisfy cravings. With time, your hormones and blood sugars will balance out, and cravings for carbohydrates will be a distant memory.
Limiting carbohydrates for the first couple of weeks will be the most challenging, but you can adopt some coping strategies to deal with cravings. Below are some steps to help you ride the carbohydrate wave.
Always remember how much your hormones affect your emotions and choices around food. Each day you stick with the plan, your hormones are one step closer to balancing out and the ride will get that little bit easier.
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