In this weight loss tip I am going to share with you my insights on food cravings. Now I am not a naturopath or a dietician but then you don’t need to be to understand the basics of food cravings.
Back in the 80’s I read an article that stated that a Scottish scientist had shown that salt was bad for health. So I cut down on salt. And then I followed every bit of information that came out on diet. I went vegetarian. I did the food combining diet. I did the alkalising diet. I grew my own wheat grass. I sprouted lentils. I juiced huge bags of carrots. I ate huge quantities of bananas. I ate nuts and seeds. I think I did just about every vegetarian diet that exists on the Planet. I went vegan. I nearly died on the vegan diet. But I was sure that I had not done it right so I tried again.
Eventually when it looked like I was going to have to go to hospital to deal with a severe case of haemorrhoids by chance a naturopathic friend who was on a similar journey to me suggested I take a look at the Weston A Price Foundation. From that day forward my health began to improve.
Back when I was a vegan I used to hang out with a lot of naturopathic students and I also used to consult at Hippocrates Health Centre on the Gold Coast. The guests would come to the health centre to do a cleanse for a week – which entailed a vegan diet.
One lunch time I watched as one of the staff members, who shall remain nameless, cooked up a couple of boiled eggs on a camping stove in his room. He then mixed the eggs in with his raw vegan lunch and we went down to the lunch area to eat with the guests. One of the guests remarked how healthy we all looked. And yet they were not aware that the staff member was eating eggs or that he would go downtown for dinner to buy pizza and take away chicken.
So what does this have to do with food cravings?
Well let’s say you go on a politically correct low fat diet. What happens is that you get depleted in the fat soluble vitamins A, E and D. We can feel that something is missing. We feel hungry even though we may have eaten a lot of calories because there are essential nutrients missing. The unconscious mind says, “Give me food”. And creates thoughts of food. The person then thinks they must have food cravings. No, you don’t have cravings – you are hungry.
In some cases the food cravings may be as a result of a food allergy. But that is a different story.
Back in the eighties I used to mix with a lot of New Age people who were vegetarian. I was at a yoga centre in the kitchen and I watched as a woman came in to prepare food for dinner. It was her time to cook the dinner. So she whips up pasta and a sauce. A bit of low fat salad and that was it. Half an hour later a dozen of us sat down to eat. She said, “I love pasta”. But to me it looked like she liked the convenience of preparing pasta. It was easy. Anyway, immediately after the meal, she and others started reaching for the chocolate. With comments, “I like chocolate”. And you watch their faces – and it the same look that drug addicts get when they anticipate their favourite drug.
The only reason they were reaching for chocolate was because the main meal was deficient in nutrients and now they went for chocolate because it was a source of fat, and also the chocolate provides feel good chemicals that would ordinarily have been created from a nutritious meat based meal.
Another time, at another location, we ate our vegetarian dinner. Immediately afterwards one friend stood up. He cut off a huge slice of bread, slathered it with butter. Took a bite and let out an orgasmic, sense of relief, as his body finally got something that helped balance out the nutrient depleted meal. By the expression on his face it looked like he had take a drug.
In the nineties I used to sit down by myself for a so called healthy meal. A huge plate of brown rice, steamed vegetable, some tofu, and then I would spoon out a teaspoon of olive oil – because fat is dangerous – so you can only have small quantities. While I was eating all I could think of was what I could eat at my next meal. And then sometimes on a Saturday night the cravings would build, and I would have to drive half an hour to an all night supermarket to buy a cheesecake. It was the worst cheesecake that you could buy. Then I parked my car down by the beach and I ate the whole cheesecake, worrying all the time that the fat might give me a heart attack.
So I reckon that I have a degree in food cravings and drug addiction. I have been there and done that. Once I shifted to a meat based traditional foods type diet all of my food cravings disappeared because I was giving my body the nutrients that it needed.
Okay, now fast forwards to last week. A woman came to see me to get help in losing weight. She was on a low fat diet. She ate WheatBix and banana for breakfast or had low fat yogurt. So by mid morning she was hungry. Then she snacked on protein bars. By the afternoon she was snacking on chocolate.
She thought that she had food cravings but in reality she was nutrient depleted – and she had misinterpreted the body sensations to mean cravings rather than hunger for real food. This story is so typical of the women that I have worked with over the last thirty years.
Anyway guess what she ate on the weekend? Bacon and eggs for breakfast. Did she have food cravings on the weekend? No.
So why did she eat WheatBix, banana and low fat yogurt on week days? Because this is politically correct.
When she had bacon and eggs on the weekend did she have food cravings? No. Did she snack on protein bars and chocolate on the weekend? No.
Why did she eat bacon and eggs on the weekend? Because she wanted to give herself a treat. On the weekend she trusted her unconscious mind enough to direct her towards healthy food. The problem was that she had got it all back to front.
So if you want to overcome food cravings and binge eating – if you want to lose weight – then start by giving yourself real food. Food that contains all the nutrients that the body needs. So what should you eat? Well just look to traditional groups that sustained themselves for generations. Look to people who are well proportioned and ask them what they eat. Ask them what they ate as a child. Ask them what their parents ate.
Trust me. If you give your body what the body needs the food cravings will disappear. I talk from personal experience and from working with many people over the decades – and also from a network of naturopaths who once were vegetarian vegan but all are now meat eaters.
There is an article on my website which explores the myths and facts around the Mediterranean Diet which will give you some insights into what the body needs for optimum health.
To get a free copy of the P/S to D/O model just visit my website. You should also look at the NLP Well Formed Outcome questions. This is a series of questions that you can use to self coach yourself to success.