Craving Culprits

Wellness transformations often include a change in dietary habits and typically that’s where the transformation trip up begins. The caffeine (coffee and sodas) craving, the cookie craving (sweet) , the chip craving (salty) call our names and we cannot resist fulfilling the desire.  With that, we choose to forgo the transformation and dive into the craving!

 

What is it with the cravings?  Is it really the food and drink we need or is there something more to the story? Serotonin the body’s neurotransmitter that affects sleep, mood, blood clotting, tissue generation, pain prevention, and APPETITE send messages of desire to the brain based on associations of food or drugs or drinks to the body’s physiological and emotional state! 95% of serotonin is produced in our guts sending messages of fatigue, depression, and hunger to the brain.  The food – brain connection is strong and not so simply analyzed scientifically speaking, but evidence indicates when we are tired, we go for the caffeine to boost our energy, sometimes we like bubbles of the soda because they make us feel a boost of energy, warm soups and drinks in the winter give us comfort from the zapping cold affecting our mood positively, and when we are stressed a drink of alcohol or a sweet chocolate may be just the fix to soften the tension. 

 

Replacement Reconstruction – if you are truly considering a wellness transformation and you want more control over the craving culprit, next time you have a craving, take a breath and consider what’s really going on.  Maybe ask yourself  “What time did I last eat?  Am I really hungry? Or do I need to satisfy a different need?”  Regardless of the situation or need, consider feeding your body beneficial fuel.  Maybe have a glass of water instead of a soda or coffee.  If it’s warmth you desire, have a green tea instead of coffee or drink your water room temperature instead of over ice.  If it’s a sweet treat you desire, consider an oatmeal with dried fruit sweetened with honey, a sprouted grain piece of toast, or a Larabar instead of a candy bar.  If it’s something salty you desire, consider a handful of nuts in place of the chips.  Don’t deny the craving, simply take a moment to think it through and satisfy it with something that works for your mind and body.

 

Additional Information Sources:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26110109

Kalat, James W. Biological Psychology. 11th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2013. Print.