Food cravings can make or break any diet and it's best to understand the underlying mechanisms of how cravings work. Once you have the keys to the Ferrari, you'll be good to go on ensuring that your diet works.
FOOD AS A COPING MECHANISM
Many of the food cravings stem from lack of activities to do (ie. boredom) or utilizing food for a coping mechanism for some underlying issues. This can be traced down to the wiring of the brain as a person ages and starts to use delicious foods as a way to combat something traumatic, negative or any sort of emotional distraught in the past and future. This can have a profound impact and it's imperative to grasp this behavior and understand that it's occurring. We've noticed anecdotally that the most successful fat loss seems to occur when food is used as a source of sustenance rather than being a reward for a negative behavior. We encourage people to pick up activities during their dietary journey such as a workout routine, traveling, camping, climbing, meditation, starting a new hobby or business and so on. It's also imperative to meet new people and form new connections which requires pushing outside of the comfort zone. The less time spent worrying about food, the more time spent enjoying and focusing on the challenges of life. We call it 'fat-loss-and-health-gain' on the go. It will be tough, especially if you're on your own but with patience and surrounding yourself with a good community of like-minded people who are accountable for your success(eg. joining a community or finding partners) will foster an environment for success. Now go out there and do something!
THE SWEET AND SALTY TOOTH
The blame usually gets blamed on sweet foods but have you ever tried eating only cake or only bananas for the entire day? It's very difficult to just consume sweet foods on their own and at Ketogeek we understand this mechanism and think that the blame of sweet foods and sweeteners is unwarranted. The problem lies in having food diversity which promotes a combination of foods that in synergy can increase the total caloric input to the body and cause weight stalls or gain on a diet. This is crucial to the success of any diet, whether it's keto or low carb or high carb. Many recipes and recipe books are touted as 'real foods' but sometimes those foods are just as hyper palatable as similar products made by the same food businesses that are demonized by such people. The problem isn't sweet or salty - It's the never ending pursuit of various kinds of delicious foods that may be abundantly found in many recipe books. Just like food companies, recipes and recipe books are made to be sold as well. We're hard-wired to pursue novel foods and our brains rewards us for this behavior. A buffet of foods or constantly trying new foods and recipes can be a feast for our brain. The reward circuitry can either be used to accomplish our goals in life or be limited to food cravings and addictions.
FOCUS ON PROTEIN RICH FOODS
Now the "Protein Leverage Hypothesis" may have some flaws but just to simplify, if you focus on high animal protein based foods, your appetite will be curb stomped. We've noticed this in countless anecdotes that building a diet around protein seems to be the most effective strategy in maintaining high satiety and killing cravings. In fact, that's the framework of our Nutty Carnivore Diet Protocol in which we tell people to eat as much steak and eggs as they want! Whether it's the proteins in such foods, the water content, the structure of the foods, the signalling response or all/none of the above, it seems to work well for fat loss and overall health gains. We've also noticed that people require a lot less food to perform optimally while eating far less.
MAYBE YOU'RE ACTUALLY HUNGRY
Let's not ignore the fact that we actually DO get hungry and our body wants food. This is a good thing. Without a hunger response, we would die. However, it's just important to make a distinction between natural hunger response, pleasurable consumption of foods and using food as a solution for underlying problems pertaining to emotional health of the individuals.
We like to keep diets simple and it's easy to complicate our way of eating for the sake of societal pressure, gaining followers on Instagram or Facebook or just seeking validation from others. True strength lies in managing our appetite, simplicity and enjoying the experiences of life. Such minimalism and simplicity sparks in us confidence in who we are and is the first step towards self-acceptance. When truly liberated, we have the ability to chase adventure, push limits and trade our time with memories, leaving a legacy and forming bonds with loved ones. That is what we seek to see in all those who follow us and join us on our dietary journey.
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