Q: Wayne, I frequently have cravings for starches and foods I know are not good for me. I am trying not to cheat, but how can I get over the chocolate, bread and pasta cravings to help myself lose weight. S. W.
A: First and most importantly is the attitude when we reward ourselves. Substituting “reward” for cheat will be a great start! Personally I can gain or lose weight upon demand. I believe anyone and everyone can. If you say you are going to lose and are strong and faithful to it, you most likely will and we have a system that makes this dramatically easier.
The mind is very powerful, with many studies showing that auto-suggestion and visualization are successful tools in attaining virtually anything that we want.
There are a few reasons for cravings:
1. If one is on a cleansing program, this is normal and it is called “detox”.
When we are eliminating certain foods we can actually crave them because our bodies get conditioned to eating the same things. Alcohol, sugar, coffee are good examples of a conditioned response. Quitting any food or stimulant cold turkey can cause this craving because as the liver no longer gets the same food or drug, it now releases the stored toxins from our tissues from this food or drug.
The body also craves the food and drugs to stop the symptoms. For example when one gets headaches giving up coffee, sugar, tobacco… The way to quickly eliminate such symptoms is to have a little bit of the coffee, sugar, tobacco…. but then we are right back where we started, eating the food or drug that we should no longer want. The solution is to do a proper detox program. I usually recommend a few colonics or enemas as this is the fastest way I have found to help clients get results when they want immediate solutions to cravings and addictions.
The second solution is to slowly reduce the drugs or foods. Start by reducing by half each 5th, 6th or 8th day, but not on the 7th day. Our immune systems are on a 7 day cycle. Reducing before or after the 7th day will relieve the body from having increased challenges.
2. Emotional cravings.
Notice the time you crave most.
Is it before bed? Is it after dinner when you have nothing to do? When you are just bored?
Is it after being around someone who drains you? Is it after an argument with a loved one? After making love?
Eating not for a physical need should be addressed by being aware of our emotional state. When you get an emotionally stimulated craving, try to go and be by yourself for a few minutes. Sit quietly and try to come up with a solution to the problem. By trying to let go of the negative emotional state, we will often find ourselves letting go of the craving.
Occasional cravings are very normal, again rewarding yourself within reason is fine. This is what I define as within reason.
When I was 16 I read my first health book by a Life Extension Specialist named Paul Bragg. So being inspired by his book I ate just watery fruits and vegetables for one month. I felt so incredible! At 16 most of us have minimal toxins, so it was easy to be strict. Anyway, I remember going out for ice cream with some friends. Well, my instinct said to just taste the ice cream as I did not have a strong craving for it. Well I had a few licks, and although I did not get sick, I did feel two things. 1. a slight energy drain and 2. a slight headache for a few minutes because I was no longer used to eating sugar. This is called the law of conditioning.
So we recommend just tasting things when you have eliminated certain foods such as sugars, alcohols, non-fiber foods (dairy and meats) for a period of time of 3 weeks or more. I can certify with the hundreds of clients that we have assisted that the body is incredibly quick at detoxifying and telling us it no longer can handle the same amount of addicting foods we could tolerate only weeks ago.
3. Minerals. I should say lack of minerals!
Minerals not calories are a more important factor in a diet for health.
Cravings can be from a lack of good source of minerals, and I am not talking about taking a mineral supplement from a health food store. I am talking good quality foods. White flour, white sugar, alcohol, drugs will deplete the amount of minerals we absorb. We recommend organic foods! Harvard University did a comparison study and found 50-300% more nutrition in organic foods! Rutgers University tested organic versus not and found that some of the non-organic did not even register certain minerals! Just try some organic produce and you will see for yourself.
4. Blood Sugar.
The secret in our first consultation with clients on most any type of program is assist them in balancing their blood sugar. We recently had a client who was on insulin 4 times a day. Within the first day on our program, she eliminated her need for insulin as we balanced her blood sugar. When our blood sugar drops, which can be for many reasons, we immediately look for some food to give us energy. Reaching for sugary and processed foods is only a temporary solution. We have used a few sure fire techniques helping clients balance their blood sugar, while changing from empty processed calories to healthy, but simple choices that work!
To see our secrets to cutting cravings, we recommend attending the Cooking in the Raw food tasting lecture.