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You don’t crave green veggies but you don’t like the effects your actual cravings are having on your body.  So what do you do about it?  Give your body what it needs, and then give it what it wants.

You thought I was going to tell you to never again eat any of the foods you crave or to eat celery and carrots instead of chocolate or other sweets...but how well has that ever worked long-term for you or anyone else you know? The mere thought of never eating any of those things again can trigger an emotional urge to go eat some or all of them now.  So let’s stick with reality.

Next time you’re craving something you know isn’t that great for you, eat what you really need and then eat what you’re craving immediately afterward.  Want a candy bar?  Eat a salad or other veggies, preferably with some good protein and good quality fat, and then enjoy the candy bar. Don’t hold out on eating what you need and don’t save room for the candy bar.  Eat what you need, and then eat what you’re craving.

Why do it that way?

Eating what you need and then what you’re craving gives you the nutrients you need to be healthy.  It also gives you the mental satisfaction of eating some of the foods you love that do nothing for your health.  For a significant percentage of the population, over the course of 1-3 months, much of their craving would go away by simply following that suggestion.  In irony, it’s also likely that eventually you really will start to crave broccoli (or other greens) when you need them…your body will have found a consistent source of nutrients and it won’t hesitate to tell you it wants that source.

Won’t I just get fatter because I’m eating even more calories?

The number on the scales will  probably go up the very next day.  But over the course of time, it’s pretty likely that your appetite and cravings will both settle significantly.  Therefore, in the long-term, you’re more likely to lose fat.

The reality is that becoming more fat than is healthy for us isn’t the result of giving in to a single craving.  It’s never giving the body what it really needs and therefore being stuck in a constant cycle of craving the things that only cause us to store more fat.  You can break that cycle.  Eat what you need, then what you crave.  🙂

Isn’t that just tricking me into being full so I don’t want to eat the other stuff?

Yes and no.  Sometimes it’ll help you feel satisfied and you’ll forget about what you were craving. But sometimes you’ll still want the other stuff.  So instead of tricking you, it is really just helping you teach your body (and mind) how to get what it needs while acknowledging that sometimes food serves other purposes in our lives.

What if it doesn’t work for me?

If it doesn’t work, there are probably other factors at play. You might not have enough hydrochloric acid to properly digest your food and really get what you need from the good stuff. You could also have some metabolic and hormonal issues that need addressing for it to be effective for you. You might have food allergies or intolerance wreaking havoc with your body. There are solutions for all of those things, but most of the time it will take a health care practitioner to help you find the issue and then work with you to correct it.

What about salt?

Your body needs some salt to function well.  I’ve seldom seen someone craving salt who didn’t need it.  However, the food they were eating it with often left something to be desired and typically the person needed other minerals just as much – if not more.

If you crave salt, get some sea salt (the unprocessed stuff has a faint grey, blue, or pink tint from the other minerals in it) and sprinkle it on your meal. Don’t do it if you have kidney problems, or if there is some other medical reason for you to avoid salt.  And don’t use salt at every meal unless you have a job or hobby that causes you to sweat profusely.  But if you experiment a little, it’s likely that you’ll find a level that stops the craving because you’ll be getting the minerals you need from your other food with a touch of salt added.

What about exercise?

As always, exercise plays a role.  If you get your muscles pumping when you start craving food, your body will be forced to switch gears and the crave will go away.  However, without giving it the nutrients it needs on a regular basis, you’ll increase your risk of injury and the craving will come right back shortly after you stop exercising.  Combine balanced exercise with good nutrition and you’ll be wondering how it’s possible to feel so young again.

What about you?

Most of the time, I eat very “clean.”  If you follow along with the “Living Out Loud” posts I make, you can see how I do things.  You’ll see that I took a few days to transition into a specific cycle of eating to drop fat (a mini transition of what I discuss in my book, plus some things for the holiday weekend), but you’ll also see that I get the good stuff in me daily with very little “other stuff.” As a result, I crave very little.  But over the next few months, you’ll also notice that I’m ok having something when I really want it.

That wraps up this question.  If any of you out there have other nutrition and fitness questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below or email them to me.

Until next time, may the choices and actions you take today create a healthier “you” tomorrow.


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