Do you have trouble saying no to that second (or third, or fourth) cup of coffee every day? Or how about that vending machine, or breakroom at work…can you walk by without indulging in a sugary midday pick-me-up?
I’ve been there. I would keep reaching for more chips and salsa, more coffee, or more chocolate; anything that would satisfy that unrelenting craving.
Sugar is virtually unavoidable in our culture. It often hides behind cryptic, unrecognizable names (anhydrous dextrose, anybody?), and lurks in almost every pre-packaged, processed food in the grocery store. What’s scary is how seriously addicted we are to this substance that wreaks havoc on our bodies!
Sugar crashes aren’t just for kids on Halloween after over-indulging on candy. As adults, we have grown accustomed to needing that pick-me-up between meals. If you find yourself where I was, pounding the chocolate at every turn, you are going to want to hear this.
There are REAL reasons behind your cravings and reliance on foods. Let’s get into what is really causing you to feel that undeniable need for a pick-me-up; then I will layout the solutions to help you keep your body on track!
Stress, Binge, Stress
We’ve heard the saying before. As one woman to another, I don’t have to tell you that stress is one of the biggest causes of food cravings and overeating. We’ve all been there…
A tight deadline at work? I deserve some ice cream…it will give me more energy.
Bad breakup? Break out the popcorn, wine, and Netflix!
Tough conversation with that person who drives you crazy? Give me the chocolate!
Don’t get me wrong: I am all for everything in moderation and at times self-care trumps all else.
But when we make stress our constant state, there should be no question as to why we can’t lose that stubborn belly fat. Elevated cortisol (your stress hormone) causes stubborn belly fat and disrupts your blood sugar to make you crave those sugary treats. Emotional eating leads us to reach for more calories than we really need, and usually from sources that don’t offer many benefits to accompany them.
Deregulated Insulin Levels
Your body relies on its hormones to keep a balance of glucose in your blood to give you your energy. Insulin, in particular, is dedicated to this purpose. When we are stressed or are over-indulging in processed, sugar-laden treats, your body just can’t keep the balance it needs to thrive.
Blood sugar spikes and dips (the “high” and the “crash” that we all have experienced) do more damage than just making you reach for more sweet treats. It’s a root cause of hormone dysfunction, brain fog, and many of the other issues I hear women discuss constantly!
Are You Addicted to Sugar?
Did you know that sugar and food cravings literally change the chemistry of your brain to make you want more? Did you know that eating sugar causes dopamine to be released? (This is the same reaction that addictive substances like cocaine will cause.) Dopamine is a powerful brain chemical that helps govern your mood. That’s why it feels so good after you give in to a craving…at least at first.
Serotonin is another important neurotransmitter that affects your mood, appetite, sleep, and more. When you are consistently fueling your body with sugar or unhealthy foods, you are upsetting the balance of dopamine and serotonin, which will leave you reaching for more.
I know you may think of “addiction” as too strong of a word to deal with sugar or other foods, but it’s not. Scientifically, your brain is responding to a lack of sugar the same way it would if you suddenly stopped smoking. Your brain wants that feel-good surge of dopamine and serotonin to make you feel happy. But the constant ebb and flow of glucose in your system is causing the rest of your body to go into chaos.
What Happens When I Give In?
Sugar is by far one of the most addictive substances that we have easy access to. When you give in too often to those cravings you could have to face one or more of the following:
- Stubborn weight gain you just can’t shake
- Increased appetite that leaves you unsatisfied and reaching for more snacks
- Trouble sleeping, which will leave you tired and alter your brain chemistry to make you want the boost even more the next day
- Brain fog, mental chatter, and/or depression that make you eat emotionally
- Hormonal imbalances caused by the blood sugar spikes and dips, which leave your metabolism in chaos
Obviously this is a problem. While this list deals mainly with sugar cravings, it also applies to cravings for caffeine, carbs, or other substances that you become reliant on to function.
How to Bust Cravings Naturally
Breaking up with sugar (or salt, or caffeine, or whatever your specific craving may be) is HARD. I’ve been there. I was seriously addicted, and it was truly a process for me to break those habits that weren’t serving me. I don’t want to leave you hanging any longer, so here are my favorite tools you can employ to bust cravings naturally and keep yourself on track!
#1 – Eat a Balanced Whole-Foods Diet
Make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet full of healthy fats, proteins, fiber, and lots and lots of vegetables, as well as low-glycemic index fruits. This is a cornerstone to preventing cravings at the root. When you eat these foods, you won’t experience the insulin spikes and dips that leave you reaching for more and more sugary treats. If you’re looking for recipe ideas, part 3 of The Essential Oils Hormone Solution has everything you need for a reset!
#2 – Stay Hydrated
Getting enough water is key to busting cravings. When you have enough water in your system, your cells won’t be crying out for more sugar, caffeine, etc. If you have trouble getting water down, try adding some zing with citrus or peppermint essential oils, or try one of these delicious water infusion recipes!
#3 – Get Enough Sleep
We all know it…when we’re tired, we are more likely to reach for that coping food (or drink). Sleep restores the proper balance of hormones and chemicals like dopamine and serotonin and allows your brain chemistry to function normally. Grab some Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, or other relaxing oils, get a good bedtime ritual routine set up, and allow your body to rest! Here are some of my favorite tips to reset your sleep habits for your health.
#4 – Use Essential Oils
I love having oils on hand for those inevitable moments when cravings stage their attack. They are convenient to have nearby at all times to help keep you on track. Here are two of my favorite cravings-crushing blends that I never leave the house without. This helps me stay one step ahead of the temptation:
#5 – Use Supplements to Banish Brain Fog
Here’s the reality: you can eat and drink for your health, get enough sleep, and have all the oils, but I’m not going to lie…cravings still rear their ugly heads. You can’t do it all on your own. Believe me, I tried…and it left me chronically stressed, fatigued, and defeated.
That’s why I have dedicated my life to researching and finding resources that I can pass along to those of you who are in the same boat. One of the things I have found that I am SO excited to share with you now is Crave Reset. This supplement is a gamechanger! What I love about this supplement blend, in particular, is that it addresses the roots behind why you experience cravings. It doesn’t just mask them with a false sense of satisfaction.
Why Crave Reset?
This powerful supplement is packed full of essential vitamins and substances to help you feel your best without reaching for that extra snack later in the day. Here is the lineup of powerhouse ingredients to help you nip cravings in the bud and restore balance to your body:
- Vitamin C does more than just boost your immune system. It alters your brain chemistry and is an important factor in creating neurotransmitter chemicals to help crush cravings at their source.
- B-complex vitamins, especially vitamins B-3, B-6, and B-12, help supply your brain with energy. They also balance the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine to help you feel satisfied longer.
- L-Tyrosine and 5-HTP are included in the ideal ratio to help your body use them efficiently. L-Tyrosine is an important precursor to brain chemicals and can also help with symptoms of depression. 5-HTP can alter your brain chemistry to help you feel full faster, feel more satisfied after a meal, and decrease your cravings for carbohydrates. Having these two together in a 10:1 ratio like they are in Crave Reset will help you with emotional eating, sugary cravings, and feeling satisfied longer!
- Taurine helps protect your cells and calm your central nervous system to regulate your brain and muscles.
- Rhodiola is a powerful adaptogenic herb that can help regulate your stress and keep your brain chemicals balanced.
What I love about Crave Reset is that it treats your cravings for what they really are — brain chemical imbalances caused by stress or other factors. Instead of just masking your need for a treat or trying to trick your body into satisfaction, its powerful ingredients can actually change your brain chemistry to not need those substances you are turning to.
Ready to Bust Those Cravings?
If I’ve been speaking your language today, go here to get some Crave Reset for yourself. Don’t delay — if you are tired of answering to your cravings and being a slave to sugar or food, it’s time to help your body heal by nixing those cravings and restoring balance to your body!