Food cravings can be emotionally driven, (especially if you are a woman), hormonally triggered from stress, chemically driven when the addictive properties of sugar, gluten and dairy hit your brain, or, food cravings may be related to food reactions or sensitivities.
Food reactions are like allergic reactions, but less immediate and more subtle. The body's response to the perceived "trauma" of a food reaction is to secrete endorphins. These endorphins make you feel temporarily good, so you actually develop an addiction to the very food you are sensitive to.
Your immune system gets involved as well in response to a perceived trauma by creating inflammation. Next cortisol is released to deal with the inflammation. Because cortisol causes a rise in blood sugar, insulin is called in to shuttle the sugar into your cells.
All of the cortisol and insulin drives down serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter), leaving every cell in your body screaming for CARBS to bring it back up.
Sugar has been shown to be as addicting as crack, but gluten also has addictive properties of it’s own. Gluteomorphins are opiate like substances that are released during the digestion of gliadin, the protein in gluten.
No wonder it is such a challenge to have just one cookie, or why you just can’t give up pasta. Crackers, breads, deserts, processed foods, have all become the “crack” of the American diet.
Or perhaps it’s ice cream that you snack on until your spoon hits bottom. Casin, the protein in dairy comes with it’s own opiate like compounds called casomorphins.
Unfortunately, once you finish your carbohydrate feeding frenzy in an attempt to reach that “high”, you eventually, (sooner than later), crash head on into the land of tired, hungry and depressed. So you do it all again, and before you know it “chubby” comes along for the ride.
The fastest way off this roller-coaster of hormonal imbalance and food intolerance is to get off sugar, gluten and dairy.
I can hear you moaning from here.
If you attempt to eliminate all three at once it may feel like you jumped off of that roller-coaster mid run.
Try eliminating one of your favorite “bad boys” a week, by three weeks you’re done. Once you feel the difference you won’t go back.
Where does the emotional piece come in? Could you be "hungry" for something other than food?
Many of us feel a lack of sweetness in our lives emotionally, so we end up eating sweets to fill that void. Sweet foods do indeed increase our level of serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter), for a short burst, but the serotonin and blood sugar drop that follows puts us right back where we started, tired and sad.
If you are feeling a lack of sweetness in your life, try to find ways to add sweetness without food.
It could be to have a massage, put flowers in your home, watch a favorite movie, spend time with uplifting friends. Make a list of things that make you happy and bring "sweetness" into your life, and then do them often.
Also, replacing sugary carbohydrates with real whole plant foods, (fruits are natures sugar), managing your stress with de-stressing techniques, and nourishing yourself with life as well as food, you will find your energy levels will increase, and your body and life will flow in its natural rhythm.
For guidance and support in eliminating food cravings, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 301-332-5732.