Taste Success Wellbeing: Food Cravings

Most people associate cravings with poor willpower. In most cases, nothing could be further from the truth. Willpower is just decision-making, and if your body is sending you messages that it is starving, then the natural response is to eat now.

Your subconscious brain is all about survival. It senses danger and reacts immediately, without you having time to think things through. It takes over complete control so you can react and survive. Food acquisition is all about survival, so is subject to the control of the subconscious brain also. The brain runs on glucose, so if it senses blood sugar fluctuations, or decreases, it hands decision-making away from the conscious parts of the brain to the subconscious, so that it’s energy source is maintained. 

There are also hormonal influences upon our cravings. Leptin is one such hormone. It is produced in your fat cells, and its job is to regulate appetite and body weight. It controls when and how much to eat and also satiety. Leptin is produced in sufficient amounts when we have good quality sleep. If you have issues with sleep, please don’t hesitate to make a time with our Naturopath, as this can often be easily resolved. 

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If cravings are a challenge for you, here are some tips from the Taste Success team to try at home:

- Make sure to start your day with enough protein and good fats to satisfy you

- Don't leave more than 4 hours between small meals

- Consider the timing of your cravings, are they coming on at a certain time of the day or month?

Amongst the most commonly reported outcomes of eating from the Taste Success programmes are a dramatic reduction in cravings, usually after just a few short days. This occurs because of the removal of refined, highly processed carbohydrates.

Tracey Loughran