4 Tips To Stop Caving to Cravings
4 Tips to Stop Caving to Cravings
There was a study done a few years ago at Connecticut College that was very interesting. Rats were divided into two different groups. The first group had to run through a maze to either find rice cakes or Oreos and (surprise!) they chose the Oreos, cause where’s the fun in rice cakes, right?
The second group was given the option of an injection of saline solution or an injection of cocaine or morphine. (Guess which one they went for?)
The first discovery they made was that the rats liked to break apart the cookie and eat the creaming filling first, giving me new respect for rodents. Secondly, researchers measured levels of a protein called c-Fos that activated the “pleasure center” of the brain. Guess what they found? Oreos activated significantly more neurons than morphine or cocaine!
The study was small and obviously more research needs to be done, but it does point to the fact that most of us kind of felt intuitively: that foods with lots of sugar and fat can feel addictive.
Junk food causes a physical reaction in our bodies, so when you are kicking the sugar habit, you are going to miss your food crack. When you are going through your junk food detox, here are a few things you can do:
- Substitute one food for another – From my own personal experience, it took me about ten days after giving up sugar to stop craving it. Now I use Stevia. It has a bit of an aftertaste, like licorice, but after about a week I got used to it. Now I don’t miss that extra sugar at all. Sure, I will eat chocolate chip cookies at Christmas, a nice dessert after one of my bodybuilding competitions, and a slice or two of birthday cake for me or my kids, but that’s pretty much it during the course of a year. The only source of sugar I really get is when I eat fruit with my breakfast. If I can survive without extra sugar, so can you. (Your waistline will thank me.)
- Interrupt yourself – I read a study that 20% of people find playing Tetris when they had a craving to eat something prevented them from eating the dessert. The idea was if you distract yourself it will get the food image out of your mind. If you are one of the 20%, this may work for you too.
- Chew Gum – When I’m doing my bikini competitions the diet is very strict and sometimes I will chew on sugar-free gum just to give my mouth the sensation of chewing.
- Drink water – Feeling hungry? You may be thirsty. Drink a glass of water, wait ten minutes and see if you feel better. If you’re still hungry, try 6-12 almonds. The healthy fat will make you feel full.
Going sugar-free can be tough, but hang in there! Be stronger than the Oreo Rat!
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Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!
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