In part 1 (here) we discussed how cravings are often self-created and introduced 2 of the most common causes. Here in part 2 we outline some more of the most common causes of cravings!
4 hour eating gaps! Very similar to skipping breakfast is any time throughout the day when you have more than 4 hours without eating or drinking something. Indeed really, once you go beyond 3 hours your blood sugar will start to drop depending on how busy you are or how stressful your day is. Once you get a drop in blood sugar you are setting yourself up for a sugar ‘fix’ exactly as happens when you skip breakfast and the yo-yo cycle of high and low sugar described above. Many people tell me that their days are so hectic they don’t even realise that 5, 6 or 7 hours can fly by without eating or drinking. Of course these are the people who eat the whole pack of biscuits when they get home! Set a repeat reminder in your mobile to break your fast every 4 hours and have some healthy snacks readily available like unprocessed nut and seeds, yogurt, fruit and oat cakes!
Excess Caffeine! Caffeine can be lethal for cravings. Moderate amounts of caffeine (50 to 100mg) or about 2 cups of medium strength coffee or tea spread over a few hours should be okay. However for many people once they go above 100mg of caffeine in a short period (includes caffeinated soft drinks) it can create the yo-yo blood sugar levels and cravings described above. It is very easy to get high doses of caffeine from the ever-expanding range of lattes and espressos available. Caffeine content is very difficult to judge because it depends on many factors including brewing time (the longer the brewing the higher the caffeine!). Switch to decaf coffee or tea, after 5 days you won’t even taste the difference! At the very least alternate every second cup.
Digestive Breakdown! A huge source of cravings can be a malfunctioning digestive system. Not only can it result in poor absorption of nutrients but it can result in bacterial imbalances and the growth of yeast and other fungi that feed off sugar and create huge cravings! Your digestive system can become like a second ‘stomach’ that you have to feed. If you suffer from digestive problems like bloating, trapped wind and strange gurgling sounds and also get cravings, they could well be connected. Strengthening your digestive system with a strong probiotic (good bacteria) supplement and amazing L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps heal and strengthen digestive tract tissue could well be the miracle you are looking for!
Nutritional Deficiencies! Very often your cravings will be based on nutritional deficiencies. Low levels of vital minerals like calcium, magnesium, chromium and zinc and vitamins like A and D can upset your body’s whole metabolism especially hormone balance, blood sugar levels and endorphin production. One of these alone can lead to bad cravings not to mention two or three together! I more than anyone would love if we could get all our nutrition from our food, but this is a myth and bad information for most people. Our hectic, high stress, over processed and toxic lifestyles make this almost impossible. We might have lots of food but we are often getting very poor nutrition. The best insurance policy is to take a good multi-vitamin and a good multi-mineral supplement to cover all your bases and greatly minimise your risk not only of cravings but of a multitude of other health problems.
Thanks for reading and If you want to read part 1 of conquer your cravings see here