Certified health coach Kritika Datt shares how we can finally conquer food cravings with evidence based techniques that have worked for herself and her clients around the world.
She explains how to interpret cravings for sugar, carbs and salty foods and what we can do to feed our body, mind and soul. She is a huge advocate of a diet-free lifestyle and intuitive eating.
We first met during one of my health retreat workshops in Phuket, Thailand where she has coached hundreds of clients from all over the world (and from many different cultures).
She also co-founded Sparkd a platform to help women heal emotional eating.
CRAVINGS ARE NOT THE ENEMY
- Cravings are the body’s way to communicate with us.
- Dial into the body and try to figure out why you are craving food
- Sometimes cravings are nutritional deficits or emotional behaviors
2 TYPES OF CRAVINGS
REASONS WE CRAVE
We often crave artificial sources of energy – coffee, high refined carbs, sweets, sugar and anything that turns into glucose. Especially the quick ones that create energy faster.
- Lack of Sleep – energy deprived, so we crave coffee or sugar to give energy.
- Physical impact of poor sleep – dysregulates hormones like ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells our body to eat. Leptin tells us to stop eating. Sleep makes ghrelin increase and leptin decrease.
- Nutritional deficiencies – when we eat foods that are not nutrient dense (processed foods, cookies, cakes, chips…) we aren’t satiated, because the body is still craving nutrients and it will continue to ask for food.
- Emotional – cravings are often things we are missing in life. Intimacy? Loneliness? Relationships? Boredom? Stress?
WHAT TO DO?
- First try to understand the reason. Lack of energy? Hormonal dysregulation? I eat a poor diet?
- Tune into your whole body – relationship, career, creativity, community, home life…. We often fill our emotional voids with food.
- For emotional cravings you can’t use willpower. Use compassion. Don’t beat yourself up when you eat the “forbidden” food.
- Become curious – what is my body telling me? Emotions and cravings go hand in hand
- Get good sleep – Where are you leaking your energy? Are you doing things that drain you? Are you not recovering?
- Start the night before – get in the habit of prioritizing sleep. Give it what it needs to recover. Go to bed an hour earlier.
- There are no quick fixes.
- Heal the gut – remove foods that don’t serve you, prebiotics (dark leafy greens, vegetables), probiotics (kimchi, yogurt or supplement)
- Make peace with food – give yourself permission to eat sugar sometimes. Pick one food and give unconditional permission to eat your trigger food or have it at home and tell yourself “I can eat it whenever I want”. In the beginning you may gorge, but it slowly dissipates. It may be scary because we have judged the food as “bad” for so many years, but eventually, you make peace with it. The uncontrollable urge will subside
- Fasting – makes you feel empowered.
Having good gut bacteria helps regulate sugar cravings so you can get back to normal. Probiotics bring in the good bacteria to regulate those crazy sugar and carb cravings. Most of my clients and I use ProBio PCC by Pharmanex. I really like this one, not only because of the feedback I get from my clients, but it’s got a really unique strain of lactobacillus fermentum. It’s been isolated from a Swedish woman who showed an extraordinary resilience to undesirable organisms.
The studies have shown that this particular strain has a unique ability to survive passage through the really harsh gastric acid of the stomach and colonize in the intestine. And that’s not something any probiotic can do.
I have been using Pharmanex products for over 10 years and I’ve heavily scrutinized the company’s standardization processes for safety and efficacy. They’ve been around for over 30 years, so they’re not going anywhere.
FOLLOW KRITIKA DATT
Website: Sparkd Community
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This podcast is edited by @JonathanJK
This blog post is edited by Alison Copywriting
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