Cravings, Sugar And Making Healthy Eating A Habit
I’ve been asked for my tips on cravings, especially sugar and carb cravings. I want to start by clearing something up, my blog is totally about my own personal story… Although I am a qualified nutritionist, it’s really not a passion of mine to tell people what to eat exactly… Why? Health is more than just what’s on your plate. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of food as medicine is so so important to me and I’m fascinated by it, but in terms of tips, I don’t like to look at your plate in isolation.
That said, this is a little snippet of my story on how I am no longer a slave to cravings and food guilt... And a bit about my thoughts on eating habits in general.
Being centred through yoga and meditation
Yep the first one is not even related to food at all. Interestingly, above all this is my number one pillar of health - living in alignment with your truth/ your centre/ living in the now... whatever you want to call it. For me this means living as your true self and making choices unaffected by external sources. All you have is who you are in this moment.
When I’m asked for ANY diet tip, I will always come to this concept first because without it your just fighting a losing battle. Willpower is finite and eventually you will always run out of it, living in your centre/ living in the now is forever.
To quote one of my favourite books The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer:
“When you aren’t centred, your consciousness is just following whatever catches your attention.”
Liv you f**king hippie, how TF does this relate to sugar cravings…
Haha I know… basically when you live in alignment with your true self, making decisions is effortless, you know what foods are going to serve you and what aren’t. It’s longer a stress of “oh I want that, but I’m not meant to have it… Oh I’ll regret it if I do… Oh but I did an extra 10 mins of treadmill today so I can have it… Oh I’ll just have less for dinner… Ohh this random nutritionist on Instagram said snacking is bad but I really want that right now”… NONE OF THAT. It’s just living life, eating in a way that makes you feel good, not stressing about it… effortless!
Eating fat and cycling my body into ketosis
By know you probably know I’m fan of ketosis (no I’m not talking about eating cheese and meat all day)… Ketosis is a physiological state where your body is running off ketones instead of glucose. AKA you are running off fat! This is good for a number of reasons, of which I won’t go into detail right now… BUT when your body is capable of doing this (some call it fat-adapted), you basically have endless amounts of energy because unless you are underweight, there is an almost endless supply of fat stored in your body.
This means almost no hunger (from a hormonal perspective). This obviously helps cravings as you genuinely do not feel like eating.
Giving up sugar and sweet things, including stevia and artificial sweeteners
I’ve cut out pretty much all sugar, anyone who has done this knows how much it reduces your cravings for the sweet taste. Literally if I ever have something sweet anymore, even 70% dark chocolate I’m like what is this weird taste on my chocolate… I’ll have stevia occasionally, but most definitely not in the first part of the day.
Eating fat and saving carbohydrates to later in the day
I really don’t hold back on the fat to be honest it’s so rich and satisfying that it’s pretty hard to overdo… In my opinion if you are eating good amounts of fat, especially coconut oil, you can’t possibly crave sugar because you are always satisfied and not hungry. My cacao fat fudge as my lunch dessert is my total secret weapon when it comes to this! A little square or two after lunch totally sees me though to dinner without feeling the need to snack.
I also stick to fat and protein until dinner... If I don't flood my body with carbohydrates in the morning, it completely stops me from craving junk.
A lot of health choices (good and bad) come down to habit. I mentioned willpower above… willpower is finite. If you’re forcing yourself to do something by pure willpower, you will always lose and end up binging then going into that awful binge eating cycle.
To quote one of my favourite books The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg:
“Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.”
This comes down to almost all food choices and is particularly relevant when talking about combating cravings and boredom eating. It’s a touch more complicated than the brief description I’ve given here, and I’m happy to go into further detail later. But ideally you want to make healthy eating (which will look different for everyone) almost an autopilot thing that you don’t even think about.
Would love to know your thoughts! Or if anything resonated with you, let me know in the comments below or reach out on the gram!