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Satisfying Your Emotionally-Based Cravings

Now that we’ve covered the reasons behind your cravings, we’re taking a look at how you go about satisfying your emotionally-based cravings. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I know you can do this.

satisfying your emotionally-based cravings-headAs mentioned in Part 1, we’ve been trained since we were very young to associate celebrations with sweets. For instance, we ate cake at birthday parties, we were rewarded with dessert after finishing our veggies…etc.

This is part of what makes sugar so comforting. And for many of us, sugary treats are like a big hug — soothing and reassuring.

  • The sugar can make us feel temporarily happy or comforted, especially if we’re sad or stressed in any way.

1. You can substitute many of your favorite go-to’s while satisfying your emotionally-based cravings. And you can start making your sweet tooth happy with whole fruits and desserts free of refined sugars.

 ➡ Instead of candies, cakes, and non-nutritional white chocolate or milk chocolate, satisfy your cravings with a smoothie made with cacao or a 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate.

Click this link to read about the benefits of dark chocolate.

And click this link to check out some delicious and healthy low-carb smoothie recipes that will satisfy your wish for something smooth, cold and creamy.

2. Don’t always make chocolate your “Go-To” Mood Booster.

Studies show that just looking at and smelling chocolate can activate the pleasure Your Food Moods And Your Chronic Blues-chocolatecenter of the brain.

So, it’s no surprise that we reach for a chocolate candy bar when we’re feeling lonely or sad, or during menstruation when women tend to have hormonal imbalances that affect their mood.

  • The reason is that those creamy chocolate treats contain **polyphenols that boost your mood and can even imitate the feeling of romantic love!

**Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits.

But you know what they say about getting too much of a good thing…

3. Change what you crave.

  • Become aware of the sweets-reward connection from childhood to understand where the craving comes from, and the circumstances at this time causing the craving.
  • Set a new goal or start a hobby that will produce these “feel-good” feelings, like painting, gardening, or playing an instrument.

4. Try a new approach

  • Take a whiff of coffee beans, which contain the same odor that triggers your brain’s pleasure centers.
  • Go for a walk or to the gym when a craving strikes. Any type of physical exercise can boost your mood and serotonin levels, and help calm the munchies.

keep your kidneys healthy small-exercise5. Find Energy and Release in Exercise Instead of Full-Fat Dairy

Do you find yourself longing for a cheese plate or a creamy milkshake?

  • Cheese has the stimulant tyramine and milk has tryptophan — which again triggers the release of the “feel-good chemical” serotonin — as well as choline, which has soothing properties,

Plus, much of what makes cheese so appealing is its creamy texture, which can be comforting.

Curb Your Craving With This 

When you’re craving ice cream, you may just be wanting the comfort of that creamy texture.

Click this link to learn how to make your own banana-based ice cream.

6Feel Satisfied Without Loading Up on Fat

  • Fatty foods tend to be comforting. And we’re faced with more than 200 food decisions every day, so if the office doughnuts make an appearance, you might be tempted to give in.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get satisfaction by eating healthy comfort foods.

Another study, published in Health Psychology, found that healthier comfort food, such as popcorn, is just as likely to boost a negative mood as a higher calorie comfort food, such as ice cream, or food that subjects felt neutral about, such as a granola bar.

Curb Your Craving With This:

  • Reach for an avocado to get the creamy texture you crave, plus a satisfy your emotionally-based cravings-avocadonatural energy and mood boost. Avocados are also a source of healthy fats.

Click this link to learn about the health benefits of avocados.

Change What You Crave Like This: 

  • Seek out other, consistent ways to comfort yourself.
  • Schedule time to meditate or simply sit in silence for a few minutes to get centered.
  • Find a group of like-minded people who you can connect with (Yoga class? Book club? Cards? Gardening club?)

7. Transfer the stress away from salty and crunchy snacks:

If I put a pile of salt in front of you, I really doubt you’d just lap it up. What you may be craving is something crunchy, like salty potato chips and pretzels.

  • Cravings for salty, crunchy foods might point to frustration, anger, stress, or resentment.

Crunching down with your jaw is like an emotional purging, sort of like punching a wall.

  • But then again, you might just really want something salty.

If that’s the case, there are ways to satisfy your craving while not taking in a lot of sodium.

  • One great go-to is Pistachios, available in unsalted and lightly salted varieties, in or out of the shell.

If you compare pistachios to salty potato chips, you get a lot more in a one-ounce serving — 49 nuts instead of just 15 chips — as well as less sodium. Plus, you also get healthy fat, protein, and fiber to help keep you full.

satisfy your emotionally-based cravings-popcornCurb Your Craving With This:

  • Reach for air-popped popcorn, and crunchy produce like apples, celery, and carrots.

Important: Read about microwave and movie popcorn by clicking this link.

  • If you feel the urge for chips and dip coming on, substitute with vegetable sticks you can dip into hummus, low-fat sour cream or cream cheese.

Change What You Crave Like This:

  • Identify the areas in their life that are causing stress and take steps to eliminate satisfy your emotionally-based cravings-stressthem.

I know, you’re tired of being told to be careful with your stress levels…but stress can convince you to do just about anything, especially to eat unhealthy foods, not to mention cause heart attacks and strokes.

Read about that here. (from my heart disease website)

➡ Talking About Chronic Stress And Your Heart

➡ Stress. Heart Attacks And Strokes-Here’s Why You Need To Chill

➡ Psychological Stress Can Increase Death Rate From Heart Disease

8. Do what you need to do to release that pent-up tension and stress.

 ➡ Sometimes even a short phone call to a family member or an email to a coworker to discuss an issue can help end undue stress.

9.   Find your comfort in sources other than carbs.

  • The urge to eat pasta, bread, and cookies tends to really kick in when we’re stressed or sad.

Not only do these “comfort foods” have mood-boosting properties and give a short-term energy boost, but many of us associate them with comfort from an early age.

  • Think Chocolate chip cookies served up by Mom when you had a hard day or the comforting smell of your grandma’s freshly baked bread.

When you’re feeling agitated or upset, you may subconsciously be turning to carbs for comfort.

Curb Your Craving With This: 

  • Get creative with veggies to re-create the textures you crave.

emotionally based cravings-spaghettiTry this recipe for spaghetti squash and meatballs, and incorporate whole, unrefined carbs like quinoa, sweet potatoes, and squash into your diet.

Change What You Crave Like This 

  • Notice when stressful situations arise and stop to take a breath and calm down. Remove any unnecessary stress from your life.
  • Leave earlier to avoid traffic and schedule fewer activities so you don’t have to rush around.
  • Add yoga to your exercise routine. Yoga provides a way to release the tension thatemotionally-based cravings-Yoga you may be holding in your body.

Read more about the benefits of Yoga

➡ The Heart Of Yoga-A Successful Approach To Diabetes

➡ The Heart Of Yoga-Diabetes Without Stress – Part 2

10. Recharge Without too much Coffee and Soda

Cravings don’t just relate to food, but beverages as well, and two of the most common culprits are coffee and soda.

Caffeine: When cravings for caffeinated beverages strike, there are a couple of things going on.

  • If you consume caffeine daily, you become reliant on the stimulant effect, and if you don’t have it one day, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, such as a headache.
  • If you take in a higher caffeine amount regularly, you may be more likely to suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Then there’s also the fact the caffeine readily comes in the form of coffee, which is a soothing beverage because it’s hot.

  • If you’re trying to cut back on your caffeine content, you could switch your second cup of coffee to decaf or tea — and still get the antioxidant benefit.

emotionally-based cravings-sodaSoda: Besides tasting sweet, is carbonated, and our brain associates the bubbles with a carefree, elevated mood, even with creativity and fun. That’s really why it can feel like a pick-me-up.

Curb Your Craving With This 

  • Try sparkling water with cranberry and lime or Kombucha tea.
  • Adding a green smoothie to your routine will also help boost energy naturally with whole foods, without the need for caffeine.

Check out some low-carb, Diabetes-friendly green smoothies here.

(P.S. Don’t be fooled by the word “green.” These are really delicious.

Change What You Crave Like This 

  • To kick the snack craving habit, support a regular bedtime to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  • In addition, find creative projects within your current work or outside of work that you can get excited about.
  •  Engage in mood-boosting activities like hiking and yoga, which release endorphins (a big part of addictions)and can also be soothing and comforting for the body.

11. Find pleasure and satisfaction in other ways besides eating unhealthy foods.

Your heart and blood sugar will thank you. Your joints, bones, and muscles will too. And so will your family, because you’ll be sticking around longer.