The Craving Monster Within
Food cravings are one of the main reasons a diet fails. There are underlying issues that drive the cravings of some types of foods. These underlying issues must be dealt with before a person can have success with a weight loss program.
The strongest of willpower will buckle under the onslaught of multiple voices screaming “Feed me!”.
“I can’t help myself “we cry, in our defense as we indulge in our favorite foods. What in the world is going on inside of me, I wonder? Why can’t I get a grip on this? Once again you are shot out of the sky, flaming towards terra firma wondering why you even tried in the first place to better your health picture.
I have good news! There is hope!
Let’s pull back the curtain and take a look behind the scene and see what’s really going on. Food cravings may be due to a nutritional deficiency or an emotional issue. In this blog we will talk about the nutritional side.
Because we cannot process the nutrients in certain foods, our body craves more of that food to satisfy its’ need. The more we eat the more we crave. It is an endless cycle of torment. By definition, this condition is called a food intolerance or sensitivity. This is the body’s inability to break food down into their nutritional components. This is different from a food allergy which triggers an immune response. There are three main cravings; they are carbohydrates, proteins, or fats. Or in some cases there can be a combination of these three.
Let’s take the example of a person named John. John loves bread, a carbohydrate; it is his favorite food group. He also loves cinnamon rolls, especially the ones with the gooey brown sugar filling. His body is signaling his brain that he needs carbohydrates, so his brain signals the hypothalamus to release peptides which activate his body to receive the carbs. John indulges in some good carbs to fulfill that need. After eating the carbs, John thinks he has satisfied his body’s need for them, but wait, the signal is still there and the process starts over again. Wow, what is John going to do with all those carbs? The digestion system says that it cannot breakdown the carbs into the basic components needed by the body, so it shoves them into storage. On one hand, the body is screaming for carbs and on the other hand, it can’t use what it just got.
Why? The problem is the lack of the enzyme, amylase. Amylase and its subgroups are responsible in the body for breaking down carbohydrates into their base elements. Without amylase carbs cannot be used by the body, we call that carbohydrate intolerant. All the carbohydrates in the world will not help fuel the body like it needs to be. The body’s only response is to ask for more. It is just trying to be in a state of homeostasis, a state of balance. Generally, a person is not completely devoid of amylase, but produces very little. The only sources to help in this condition are either from the food itself or supplements. Most of the food we consume is cooked and cooking above 103 degrees destroys most all enzymes. Raw foods are the only source of natural enzymes. The other source is to supplement your diet with amylase enzymes. These can be bought in a health food store or online. Be sure to ask for plant-based enzymes. They are more potent and have no restrictions as to the quantity taken. Meanwhile, until the enzymes start to work, restrict your intake of carbs to minimize the cravings and side effects of being carbohydrate intolerant. Add more protein to your diet in place of the carbs. Once you build up your enzymes, you can start and add a few more carbs to your diet. But one area to avoid is the consumption of plain sugar, that causes all sorts of problems with your intolerance. You will find that with the supplements, increasing your intake of proteins, and more raw foods (vegetables and fruits) you will have more energy and feel better. If you had a weight problem it will start to mitigate itself within a few weeks. The cravings will be leaving and you will start to feel nutritionally satisfied. This scenario would be the same for proteins and fats.
So bon appétit…