Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.
The body is an amazing source of intelligence. It is always there for you, pumping blood, never skipping a heartbeat, digesting whatever food you put in it and maintaining homeostasis. Is this reliable, intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving ice cream or a hamburger or chocolate? Are cravings due to lack of will-power or discipline? I’d like to suggest that cravings are not a problem. They are critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.
The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave. Perhaps your diet is too restrictive or devoid of essential nutrients. Perhaps you are living a lifestyle that is too boring or stressful. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs.
No book or theory can tell you what to eat. Only awareness of your body and its needs can tell you. Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love and time to cultivate a relationship with your body. As you learn to decipher and respond to your body’s cravings, you will create a deep and lasting level of holistic health and balance.
The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:
Who among us doesn’t love sweets? The sweet flavor releases serotonin in our brains, the chemical responsible for our sense of well-being and contentment. But when it comes to sweeteners, not all are created equal. There are side effects and health risks from refined sweeteners like white table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, and from artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, saccharin and Splenda. Since refined sweeteners have been stripped of vitamins, minerals and fiber, they can spike blood sugar, which can often lead to cravings and mood and energy fluctuations. Instead, using naturally and minimally processed sweeteners can reduce cravings for sugary things.
Here are a few natural sweeteners to substitute in drinks, food and baking. Since they are all approximately 1.5 times sweeter than refined sugar, you can use less. You can find them in most supermarkets or natural food stores. When replacing sugar with liquid sweeteners in a recipe, reduce the amounts of other liquids.
Everyone seems to love honey, one of the oldest natural sweeteners on the market. Honey will have a different flavor depending on the plant source. Some are very dark and intensely flavored. Wherever possible, choose raw honey, as it is unrefined and contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins.
Agave is made through the extraction and purification of the juice of the agave cactus. It does not stimulate insulin secretion as other sugars do, so it does not create a “sugar rush.” It has a delightfully light and mild flavor.
Maple syrup is the concentrated extract of the sap of maple trees. It adds a rich, deep flavor to foods and drinks. Make sure to look for 100% pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored corn syrup. As with all sweeteners, organic varieties are best.
To your healthy life!
Ellie Savoy is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach and the author of the #1 international best selling book “Stop Dieting Start Living: 5 Foundations for Your Health to Permanently Lose Weight Without Dieting Starvation or Suffering in Silence”. She is also the founder of the Stop Dieting Start Living Weight Loss System. Her commonsense and step by step approach has literally transformed the way people look at their body, health and life. She spent over two decades under a great deal of stress. She lost sight of the importance of her health time and time again; gaining weight and yo-yo dieting to take care of it, skipping meals during the day, eating too late at night, and letting work dictate how all of her time was spent. Many people need a trigger for change in life and the first trigger for her was her mother’s passing in 2008. Then just 21 months later her father passed away. Not only was this a ton of grief to process, but it started her on a deeper exploration of what is really important in this life. The saying “you can’t take it with you when you die” really hit home. She had been living with so much stress striving for more and more losing sight of herself and her health. The final trigger was in 2011 when she was diagnosed with two uterine fibroids. The four options she was given were actually not options for her! Three involved surgery and the other one was to do nothing. This scared her into understanding what she needed to do to naturally heal her body and permanently end the yo-yo dieting dilemma. This was when she really embraced making healthy permanent lifestyle changes. Since then she has been enjoying living a diet free and healthy life, without aches and pains, medications and a bunch of rules! She hasn’t looked back since. Ellie’s approach is not just for yo-yo dieters or those wanting to lose weight – it’s for everyone who is concerned about what their future looks like and wants to take control of their health. She has helped women with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid imbalance, irritable bowel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other symptoms. Ellie helps you to show up in your own life, stop making excuses, shift your mindset, have a plan and connect with the passion in your belly to live your best life. It’s a lot of fun!