Craving Control Makes All
Food craving control is necessary whether you're trying
weight, improve your diet, or just be healthier. If you always want the
very foods that are trashing your body, you'll never succeed in making
dietary reforms for any great length of time because the temptation
will be too great.
But craving control can be achieved by
following a series of simple steps. These are especially important if
you're making a major diet shift like changing to a healthy raw food
diet, but they can be used to end cravings on any sort of diet.
The Food Side Of Craving
For Craving Control
Any diet that consistently leaves you hungry is not a diet you want to
be on. Your body needs fuel to run, and nutrients to keep it healthy.
craving control isn't really possible unless your diet lets you eat
enough. You can still lose weight and feel full, but the trick is just
to eat the right diet. I recommend a healthy raw food diet, but filling
up and getting enough simple sugars is critical regardless of what else
The body knows two forms of satiation, and both are
craving control. The first is achieved by physically filling the
stomach with food. Doing this on fried chicken will make you fat, but
filling up on healthy raw fruits and vegetables will leave you with a
trim waistline, vibrant health, and tons of energy.
The second way
the body recognizes satiation is from simple sugars. Our blood sugar
rises soon after we've consumed a large quantity of fruit, which
signals the brain that it can turn off the hunger valve.
As a low
fat cooked food Vegan, I once ate tons of of grains, beans, vegetables
and other vegetarian food at meals. I would often push away from the
dinner table feeling stuffed, but rarely would I be satisfied for long.
Within an hour I would be back at the pantry, looking
desert, although my stomach hadn't even finished digesting my last
meal. The reason, I know now, is that I wasn't getting the simple
sugars glucose and fructose found in fruit which tell the body that its
needs have been met. If I wanted to achieve craving control, my desert,
or better yet, part of my meal, would have had to of been fruit.
These sugars fuel every cell in the body, including
muscles and the brain, and are critical for energy and satisfaction.
I feast on bananas, mangoes, dates, and other delicious fruit. I finish
my meals with a full stomach, but also complete satiation from the
sugars. I have complete craving control.
The number one cause
for cravings on a raw food diet, or on any type of diet, is failure to
eat enough calories from carbohydrates. You ideally need fruit to feel
satisfied. If you've not eating enough calories from fruit, you will
stray eventually and eat unhealthy food.
Got a craving? Eat
fruit. Want cake? Eat more fruit. Nachos got you tempted? Stuff a
banana in your mouth. Make sure your caloric intake meets your needs. (
The times of greatest temptation are when you're hungry,
so eat more fruit!
Your Fat Intake Low
If more than 10 percent of your diet comes from fat (the average raw
foodist eats 60 percent of calories from fat(1)), you're going to have
some problems achieving craving control. Most of the reasons to avoid
fat are in the health department in the long run, but they will
mentally affect your ability to function as well.
First we need to
look at what fat is. Besides being unhealthy for you in large
quantities (atherosclerosis, for instance, is essentially caused by too
much fat intake) , and carcinogenic in a heated state, fat is basically
a numbing agent.
Some food is called comfort food, but it's
really more of a sedative. Fats make you emotionally numb because they
require so much of the body's energy to digest that the mind is left
running on whatever can be spared.
When many people improve their
diets, their meals are considerably less straining to digest and this
frees their mind up for more creative pursuits. But with their numbing
agent gone, people need to learn to deal with their emotions instead of
burying them under a sea of fatty oblivion.
Fat intake needs to
be kept low to stop the emotional seesaw effect of dietary change from
occurring. If your fat level drops a bit, and you start to get
overwhelmed with emotions, you'll start having problems pretty quickly.
This is no way to maintain craving control
More than likely,
you'll turn to those old, familiar, harmful foods to numb yourself.
You're doing your diet and mind a disfavor by keeping the fat intake
up. Keep it low, address your emotions and make peace with them, and
The Mental Side of Craving
Even if you've got all of the above dietary criteria down, you can
still easily fall back on an unhealthy diet if you haven't tackled your
Even if the body is completely satisfied in both sugars
and calories, an untended mind can sabotage your efforts.
most people, I love food. I savor flavors. I relish biting into hunks
of a juicy watermelon after a long run. I love the feeling of it in my
mouth, and the sensation of the juice dripping down my face and hands
as I sit in the sunlight- I love the stuff.
The thing is that Watermelon loves me too, as odd as
used to love Chinese food. I would go at least once a week to have
broccoli in brown sauce and rice, which I felt was the height of
cuisine. I loved the stuff. The problem was that it clearly didn't love
I felt numbed from it, and my colitis always flared up
after I consumed it. Deep down, I knew it was harming me, but I loved
it just the same. But I'm a vegan, I told myself. At least I'm not
When I initially started experimenting with my raw
diet, I would go a few months and feel great. My colitis would
disappear, my running would improve, and my mind would be so much
But inevitably I'd have a bad week, or a bad month, my
stress level would climb, or I'd be incredibly hungry, and all my
defenses would crumble. I'd go back for some Chinese.
And oh, did
I ever feel bad. The colitis was back with a vengeance, my mind was in
a fog, my energy crashed, and all I wanted to do was sleep. It was very
clear that the Chinese food didn't love me, whatever my feelings for it
At about that time I ran across some words from Dr.
Graham. I don't have the original text, but he more or less restated
the message in an audio interview he did recently. This summed up my
experience, and put things in perspective for me. He said:
|It took me a long time to realize that,
essentially, I'm in a relationship with food, and that what ended up
happening was that I love all food. But all food didn't love me back.
And I much prefer to be in relationships with people who love me as
much as I love them.
Those are the most
And so I gradually came to the realization that I was going to have to
make some decisions about my food based on how much the food loved me.
How did it make me feel? Did I want to wake up the next morning feeling
like I've been in a train wreck? Did I want to ache in my joints or be
congested in my head? Or did I just want to feel fantastic all the
time? So eventually I committed to an all raw diet.
- Dr. Doug Graham
That's it! I thought, and got
to work on my mind. Soon after I switched to a raw diet permanently,
and I haven't looked back since. After the body's needs are met, the
final key to craving control is in the mind.
The Food Off Its Pedestal.
As long as your look at SAD food as something that you're depriving
yourself of, then you'll never fully escape your cravings.
temptation for cooked foods will be waiting for you when you've had a
rough day or you've been traveling and you're starving or for any
number of other reasons. So the key is to mentally squash your mental
association of bad foods with good thoughts.
This may take
multiple attempts, but it can be done overtime with some work. Sit
yourself down and start knocking the foods you are fondest of off their
pedestals one by one. You do this by substituting
thoughts of love, enjoyment and association with good memories with a
thought that realistically portrays the offending food- indignation.
mental attitude to take is, "How dare you ruin my health, disrupt my
progress, and keep me going in circles. You're slowly killing me."
See these foods for what they are. You might love them,
but they don't love you back, and they're hurting you.
Work with this, and mentally take whatever personal
angles you feel appropriate for your own situation.
"give up," anything, because that's deprivation, which you can't
maintain. Identify it as something that's not serving your greater
good, and then get rid of it. Mentally trash the food, and then let go
good diet is necessary for craving control to work
is also important.
But once you have the right base, these methods will do wonders.
Craving Control Sources:
(1) Dr. Douglas
Graham, "The 80/10/10 Diet", pg. 128.
ning barefoot isn't without its hazards, but by
following these tips you can make the transition a lot easier.
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