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4 Tips for Managing Cravings

The holidays are such a wonderful time filled with family, friends…and lots of sweet treats. It's easy to go overboard when suddenly there’s an abundance of delicious sweets you don’t typically get to eat. 

This is especially not a great time to have your cravings go haywire on you! If the treats are there and the craving is strong, there’s no doubt you’re going to indulge (you’re only human). 

Why do cravings happen? 

Firstly, let’s start by truly understanding where a craving comes from. Cravings typically set in when our blood sugar drops below where our body feels comfortable. When this happens it starts craving quick sources of carbohydrates and sugars to bring blood sugar back up as quickly as possible. 

In this situation your body doesn’t want a big plate of veggies, they would take far too long to break down into simple sugars to raise your blood sugar. But a couple cookies? A donut? Some candy? Absolutely! 

Simple sugars like baked goods, candy, white breads and pastas will break down fast enough to raise your blood sugar back to a comfortable level. This what your body is searching for, so it will send you on a hunt for these food!

The other reason cravings occur is when your body is deficient in a particular nutrient. Sometimes if your body is low in a vitamin, it pushes you to eat lots of food, often in a variety, in search of the nutrient it’s missing. 

With that being said, here are my top 5 tips for managing cravings this holiday season! 

1.Eat breakfast every day (before coffee) 

Did you know that if you are trying to lose weight you’re more likely to be successful if you eat breakfast every day? It truly is the most important meal of the day - it quite literally is breaking your fast. 

Simply by starting your day off with a meal, hopefully one that is nutritious and filling, will reduce the likelihood of your blood sugars dropping throughout the day. 

We especially want to ensure we eat breakfast before coffee because coffee can cause blood sugar spikes when drank on an empty stomach.

2. Don’t skip meals

Having 3 meals per day is essential for ensuring balance blood sugar. When you skip meals, you put yourself at risk for blood sugars dropping to low and putting you into a food emergency. 

A food emergency is when we get so hungry we will eat the first thing we can find! Or, something that fits into that category of fast burning sugars. 

3. Go for a walk after you eat

Another thing we can do to ensure well balanced blood sugar is to go for a walk after your meals. Moving your body after you eat helps your muscles take in the nutrition they need! It also helps to reduce blood sugar spikes, which always helps with cravings. 

4. Correct nutrient deficiencies

Lastly, if your body is in search of nutrients it is missing, then we likely need to supplement to correct these deficiencies. Give the body what it is asking for!

The most common nutrient deficiencies I see are vitamin B12, iron, vitamin D, and magnesium.  

If you want to learn more about how nutrient deficiencies might be impacting your cravings, I encourage you to reach out! 

-Dr. Kristen 

P.S. I’d love for you to join Emilia London, our Holistic Nutritionist Student, and I for our Holistic Health Workshop, Thriving Through the Holidays! We are sharing all of our tips for having an enjoyable holiday season, without sacrificing your health. 

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