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Food As A Drug and Cravings

Whenever I am working with people I explain that food is a drug. The good news about this is we can manipulate this drug for positive results!

 In my studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we studied all of the dietary theories and one that truly resonated with me was Michael Pollan, who wrote In Defense of Food. His bottom line explanation is that food that is made in a plant rather than grown on a plant, is biologically addictive.

There are biological mechanisms that drive food addiction and certain types of food are addictive and willpower is just not enough!  Sugar sweetened drinks are some of the most addictive agents

Here are my 7 Tips to Reduce cravings

1. Balance your blood sugar: Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with LOWER overall blood flow to the brain, which means not being able to make good decisions

 2. Eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners and your cravings will subside

3. Determine if hidden food allergies are triggering your cravings

4. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Research shows that lack of sleep increases cravings

5. Optimize Your Nutrient Status

  • Optimize your vitamin D level: When Vitamin D levels are low, the hormone that helps turn off your appetite doesn’t work and people feel hungry all the time,
  • Optimize omega 3s: Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have also been associated with depression, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity.

 6  Reduce Stress – stress increases the hormone cortisol which can create a raging appetite

7  Hydrate – Sometimes we think we are hungry when really we are thirsty. Drink half your body weight (lbs)  in ounces of water!

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