Sunday, 27 July 2008

Beat Your Food Cravings and Lose Weight

Beat Your Food Cravings

Many people suffer from food craving occasionally. Craving is always for a certain specific food or type of food, not just anything to satisfy hunger. Generally the craving is felt for candy, chocolate or something that will give sugar or carbohydrates to the body. It could even be the craving for potato chips or an extra glass of wine.

Quite often people think it is bad habits that are responsible for this craving, or that the person has poor will power. That is really not the case! The food cravings have biological reasons and to beat the food craving we must understand these underlying reasons.

Reasons for food craving

Whenever we are exhausted or we feel depressed we have low blood sugar condition and the body signals brain that it needs something to pep-it-up. This results in a craving for sugar or carbohydrates. One of the causes for this behavior is Serotonin, our basic feel-good hormone. The conditions of low level of Serotonin and low level of blood-sugar go hand-in-hand. That is why whenever there is less of Serotonin; we feel a craving for sweet food such as chocolates to make up for the shortage of sugar in blood.

Unfortunately, sugar or carbohydrates release only a short burst of serotonin; when that burst dies down, the craving returns. This leads us into a spiral.

Another reason is Adrenal Fatigue. When you feel stressed out or feel run own, when you have not had a restful sleep or you are feeling very tired for no specific reason, you are suffering from adrenal fatigue. In very severe cases the condition is called adrenal exhaustion. In the modern world this health disorder is quite common, but unfortunately it is very rarely appreciated as such.

In case of Adrenal Fatigue also the body sends a signal to the brain for a pick-me-up and that is your craving for sugar or carbohydrate snacks, or may be, coffee during the day; at night you may look for alcohol or carbohydrates. All of this only makes the problem worse.

It is also seen that persons, who keep themselves on a low fat, low carbohydrate diet on a long time or have been taking appetite suppressants, do have food craving; it is because they have become at least partially insulin resistant without realizing this condition. In the normal course blood sugar level of the body is maintained stable by the action of insulin; insulin signals the cells of the body to absorb glucose from the bloodstream when necessary. Because of their insulin resistant condition, the cells do not respond to the signal and cannot mop up glucose they need. This results in a distress signal to the brain asking for more carbohydrates or sugar. The body thus receives excess calories which are deposited as fat and the person starts gaining weight in spite of eating less.

Beating the craving

If you appreciate the basic reasons for the craving, then beating the food craving can be done. It may take a little time but it can be done. To break food cravings, the body needs real healthy foods, additional nutritional supplements (of pharmaceutical–grade) at times; this and moderate exercise can help curb cravings. This process may take some time, but it will succeed.

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