Stop Food Cravings

Can you resist temptation when there’s a box of fresh doughnuts in the break room at work? Or those delicious-looking brownies a co-worker brought in to celebrate his/her birthday?

I think it’s fair to say that most of us have food cravings from time to time, and it’s usually not kale and brussel sprouts we crave. Many of us eat for the wrong reason from time to time. The “old,” reptilian part of the brain is hard wired to survive, and part of this process results in triggering food cravings.

If we see or smell something delicious, we want it! This survival mechanism worked great 2,000 years ago, but unfortunately doesn’t work as well now when we’re surrounded by sugary, high fat temptations, as well as multiple fast food choices.

CONQUER the craving

Here’s a quick tip to help conquer a food craving: awareness and distraction. And this involves using the “new,” more analytical part of the brain. Oftentimes, people get down on themselves for giving in to temptation, but understanding our basic biology can be helpful.

My advice is to STOP, be AWARE of how your “old” brain is activated and kicking into high gear. Then use the “new,” rational part of your brain to think about the pros and cons of giving in to the craving. Walk away, play your favorite song, strike up a conversation with someone about the weather–whatever it takes to distract you for 3 minutes and keep the analytical part of your brain engaged.

Every time we ingest a large quantity of sugary or refined carbohydrate foods, the body responds by producing a large quantity of insulin (unless you are running 10 miles a day). Over time, these repetitive spikes in insulin lead to dysregulation of a hormone called leptin, the “appetite” hormone, which tells the brain to stop eating. When leptin signals to the brain are disrupted, people tend to habitually overeat.

Understanding and managing food cravings is an important component of maintaining a healthy weight and making good food choices. For tips and guidance on mindful eating, enlist the expertise of Holistic Nurse Practitioner Karen Radtke. Her knowledge and the right tools will propel you on the path to better health.

Act now! Schedule your FREE 20-minute phone consult at
or call 815-985-7283.

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