Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Food Cravings...

There's an enormous amount of women that crave sugar, carbohydrates, or alcohol. And believe it or not, these cravings are not eating disorders, but they are signs of hormonal imbalance caused by a LACK of HEALTHY NUTRITION! To curb these cravings has nothing to do with willpower.

When we become exhausted or even blue, we have low blood sugar and/or low serotonin, so the body signals the brain "give me a pick-me-up!" This is a signal for sugar or carbohydrate cravings. So we look for chocolate or candy or potato chips, even an extra glass of wine.  When we have food cravings, it only means that the body has its signals mixed up.

Serotonin is our basic feel-good hormone. When serotonin is low, we feel sad or depressed. Hormonal imbalance and week digestion can lead to low serotonin. So when we give in to those cravings for sweets, it releases a short burst of serotonin; we feel good for a moment, but soon return to our low-serotonin state...then crave more sugar and simple carbohydrates. It's a viscous cycle.

Another cause of food cravings is adrenal imbalance (which is what I have been diagnosed with). If you suffer with sleep problems or a great deal of stress, you are probably exhausted most of the time. This situation will cause your body to call upon your adrenal glands to pump out more stress hormones as a pick-me-up. Over time the adrenals become less able to respond appropriately. So you turn for those back ups of sugar, carbohydrate snacks, or coffee during the day, and more simply carbohydrates or alcohol at night.

I am finding out that if we BLAME ourselves for our food cravings, it only worsens our mood and will increase our need for serotonin. This is when a pattern of emotional eating can develop. Since there are biological causes of sugar cravings and carbohydrate cravings, it's rarely just a behavioral problem. The ROOT problem is more likely inadequate nutrition!!

So how do we break this vicious cycle? The BODY needs REAL SUPPORT - and LOTS OF IT. And that means eating healthy vegetables, whole grains, rich sources of protein (upping the plant protein and cutting back on the animal protein; used to help burn fat, fight off infection and inflammation) and healthy fats (maintaining adequate hormonal balance, stabilizing blood sugar, increasing immunity, supplying energy, and controlling hunger), and FIBER (loads of important vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients)! Another thing that I am finding out is BALANCE is essential!!

Here's to your health!!

Photos provided by Microsoft.


  1. Well as usual I'm trying to cram too many things in the morning before I go to work, so I am a bit down in the dumps at this point. I could use a pick me up.

    Your article is so interesting, and chock full of good sense, Brenda.

    Enjoy the day,
    Marianne xo

  2. I should have also added that if you give your body all the GOOD STUFF that it truly needs, you can still have a little bit of chocolate with no worries! COL...

  3. I enjoyed reading your post, Brenda. It's a rather fresh way of looking at things related to health and nutrition.
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I hope a little slice of banana bread can be enjoyed, just not the whole loaf! :)

  4. very informative as usual, Brenda! love this post as i can relate to it, i always have cravings when im down in the dumps or bored and when i know that im on a diet , not sure why the thoughts of snacks and cakes etc always bombarding me more. I do hope i will be more careful on what i eat and the portion of it :)