How Do I fight my food cravings?

A concerned follower tweeted us about her strict diet and how difficult it can be to stick to new eating restrictions when you’re working on recovering from a food addiction or unhealthy lifestyle.  To answer this question, first we’ll say that everyone is different.  Each body has its own chemistry and responds to foods differently and to different degrees.  Consult your physician for real dietary advice.  That said, there are three major things that your body craves from a survival standpoint that aren’t that healthy for you in large, unrestricted doses.

They are:

  • Sugar

  • Salt

  • Oily Fats

These 3 culprits are responsible for most of the unhealthy eating that happens in America and the west.  The most basic nutrients are essentially sugars but in different molecules.  These are found in fruits, for example.  But bleached white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup like you find in most soda and junk food is an extreme version of sugar and overloads your body with unhealthy sugars. Same goes for salt.  Our body needs a certain amount of sodium but too much salt interferes with your body’s chemistry.

Then there are the fatty oils that your body knows will help it survive a bout of starvation (which is unlikely to happen to you in the modern western world).   These are very satisfying to the tongue and belly but they are stored as excess body weight when you aren’t working it off with strenuous exercise.

These are difficult to resist when you’re craving them because the body is screaming out for the sustenance that it thinks (thanks to millions of years of evolution) will help it survive.   It’s a mind vs body conundrum that grips people struggling with obesity and food addictions.  

The best way to fight these cravings is to treat your body like a small child.  We all know that children will eat sweets and nothing but sweets if you let them.  But we, as adults, must keep their health in mind since they aren’t mature enough to think of it for themselves.   Understand that your body isn’t thinking about its health.  It just knows what will sustain it if food runs out and you start going hungry:  fatty oils and sugars, namely.

Allow your body a few treats of sugar, salt, and oils but limit these to once per day and something small.  This way your “inner child” so-to-speak gets a treat for being good but doesn’t overdo it.    The rest of the day you should eat what you know will keep you healthy, which is usually a well-balanced diet of fresh vegetables, lean meats, and simple carbohydrates like rice and (some) pasta. 

Be good to your body, it’s an animal that only knows instinct.  

You, however, are the responsible adult and must dole out the treats sparingly.


Published on Sat, 02/21/2015 - 08:32
By Addiction Recovery