How To Keep Food Cravings from Ruling You

We can all relate to the fact that we may be food addicts.  Our brains are biologically driven to seek and devour high-calorie, fatty foods.  The difference is that you can learn how to control those primitive parts of our brains, you just have to learn how.

I will share 3 steps to help you counteract those parts of your brain that have you chasing high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods. But, before you can update your brain’s biological software, you’ve got to understand why it developed in the first place.

Calories = Energy

The balance between protein and carbohydrates in the diet is where lots of the problem lies, but it’s not what you think. Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap, but they are the single most important nutrient for long-term health and weight loss.  We are not talking about bagels and donuts. We mean plant foods that more closely resemble our lettuce type vegetables, root vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. These are whole foods. They are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and disease and weight busting colorful phytochemicals. They also take time to digest. Because of that, they raise blood sugar slowly, which balances metabolism and offers a steady stream of energy. Whole foods have all the right information and turn on all the right genes, including detoxification.

Nowadays, our diets have been turned upside down. Sixty percent of our calories come from things that our bodies don’t even recognize as “real” food. The bulk of those items–processed cereal grains, processed crackers, cookies, candy, cakes, breads, sugary drinks, refined oils and dressings–are simple carbohydrates. The brain sees an endless supply of easy energy.  Left unchecked, our bodies pay the price. The result is a two-fronted epidemic of obesity and diabetes in our country–what we call “Diabesity”.

The Blood Sugar Swing Dance

When you eat simple carbohydrates, whether as sugar or as starch, they pass almost instantaneously from the gut into the bloodstream. Within seconds, blood sugar levels start to rise. To counter the increase in sugar, the body releases insulin which is the key that unlocks the cells and allows sugar to enter. As sugar enters the cells, the amount of sugar in the blood declines and the body restores its healthier balance.

An abundance of simple sugars in the diet charges the body into releasing more and more insulin. Eventually, the “cellular locks” get worn down from overuse. Like a key that’s lost its teeth, insulin loses its ability to easily open the “cellular door”. The cells become numb to the effects of insulin and as a result, the body pumps out more and more of the hormone to keep its blood sugar levels in check. Eventually, this cycle leads to a dangerous condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance–at the root of “diabesity”–causes you to gain belly fat, raising your blood pressure, messing up your cholesterol, making you infertile, killing your sex drive, making you depressed, tired, and depressed, and even causing cancer and toxic livers!

3 Ways to Reprogram your Brain

Luckily there are ways to rewire the primitive parts of your brain by making good food choices. Here are 3 ways to get started:
  • Balance blood sugar. Blood sugar highs and lows drive up your food cravings. If you get hungry between meals, shaky, foggy, grouchy- that’s a sign that your blood sugar is crashing. When blood sugar is low, you’ll eat anything! To better balance blood sugar, eat a small meal or snack that includes healthy protein, like seeds or nuts, every 3 to 4 hours or a high fiber carb and a protein.
  • Eliminate liquid calories and artificial sweeteners completely. Sodas and even some fruit juices if they are not organic, contain high fructose corn syrup. Processed fruit juices are awash in sugar. Try sticking with water and green tea or other herbal teas.  Green tea contains plant chemicals that are good for your health. And, last but not least, don’t succumb to the diet-drink trap. The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks fool the body into thinking it is ingesting sugar, which creates the same insulin spike as regular sugar. In addition, the ingredients that make Splenda and NutraSweet are not natural and cause neurological disruptions to the body causing muscle tremors, shakiness and other possible symptoms.
  • Ideally, you should be eating quality protein at every meal, but, if you need to prioritize one meal, choose breakfast. Studies show that waking up to a healthy protein, such as eggs (if you can have them), nuts, seeds, nut butters, quinoa or a protein shake helps people lose weight, reducing cravings.
Ultimately, you may not control your genes but you can control what and how you eat. When you take control to clean up your diet from sugars, other than that from fruit, whole grains and lots of vegetables, seeds, nuts and beans, your brain no longer has the cravings and urgings that seduced it before.
The most powerful tool you have to transform your health is your fork! Use it well and you will be healthy!
Saturday May 12 at 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. right here at our office building location, 39111 Six Mile Road, Livonia. Please call us to reserve a spot for yourself or friends by calling us at: 734-779-1650 as soon as you can or click here to register.


About The Doctor

Dr. Josh Shields D.C., C.F.M.P is the clinic director and owner of Integrative Wellness Centers. He is a board certified functional medicine practitioner (1 of only 8000 in the U.S.) and has traveled the country as a consultant and educator of functional medicine for other professionals. Dr. Shields is recognized as an industry leader for pioneering and developing natural programs geared toward helping people reverse chronic disease and helping “healthy” people who want to become healthier. Don’t be surprised if you see doctors from other clinics spending the day and doing rounds trying to discover why Dr. Shields’ care is so effective.Dr. Shields has been helping patients for over thirteen years and has helped more than 2,000 patients successfully. Dr. Shields has been featured as an expert on several health and wellness topics for fortune 500 companies like GE capital and Comerica Bank. He is also a registered speaker for the American Diabetes Association.He and his wife have 3 children and currently live in the Novi, Michigan area.

To watch Dr. Shields own testimonial and why Integrative Wellness Centers was founded click this VIDEO button.