‘Is giving up the carbs’ something you’ve committed to? Are you feeling an extra need for carbs with the change of seasons & maybe feeling guilty?
Cutting back or giving up carbs is something we know we need to do BUT… in reality is hard! (Especially those sneaky mid afternoon chocolate fixes)?!
Carbohydrate (carb) cravings might feel like;
So how do we kick these cravings and live a little more?…
Great. So how do we do that?!
Firstly let’s look at blood sugars.
We understand how simple carbs can send our blood sugars on a crazy rollercoaster ride – you know the ones i.e. pasta, rice, pizza, bread, biscuits, generally highly refined and processed foods and grains that the body can use quickly for fuel.
This conversation with my son and analogy about twigs v logs will help.
Twigs v logs.
I’m not sure how the conversation started. We were sitting at the family dinner table when our youngest stated he wanted to eat more pasta and pizza because it was good for him?!
He was ‘fishing’ for a bite that’s for sure. I reckon he got a bit more than he could chew!!
Stay with me because this might help your family too.
About to jump up and down and correct his misguidance, I caught myself and kept quiet for a moment (not so easy to do)!
With my hubby’s support, I explained …
It’s like keeping a good fire burning.
To make a good fire what do we use? ‘Logs and twigs’.
What gets it started, by making it burn fast and hot? Twigs.
So what makes the fire burn steadier and for longer? ‘logs’.
What happens if we used just twigs and no logs? ‘We need to keep adding twigs constantly’!
So there are 3 types of energy our bodies use for fuel; fats, carbs and protein (macro nutrients).
Fats and protein are like the logs – add them to the fire, or our metabolism and they give us good, sustaining, steady energy for a longer time.
Simple carbohydrate is like the twigs. When added to the fire (or our metabolic system) alone, they’re burnt up super quickly. We need to add more and more twigs to the fire to keep it alight!
It’s an over-simplified analogy of energy production but he totally got this. And maybe it’ll help you and your family too.
So getting back to our blood sugars. It’s like the twigs.
The twigs burn quickly, and quickly need to be replenished to stop the fire going out. It’s the same for us. Eating a lot of simple carbohydrates means we need to keep replenishing the fire. If we don’t, our blood sugars swing and cravings kick in (we need energy). It’s almost always leading to excess energy and fat storage i.e. weight gain.
Eat more sustaining fuel i.e. protein and fats and our blood sugars are more stable, (this doesn’t necessarily apply to type 1 diabetics).
An interesting fact about these sources of energy is that fats and protein are essential to our diet. We need to get these energy sources from our food. Carbohydrate on the other hand is non-essential i.e. our body metabolises (makes) glucose (a product of carbohydrate) from fats and protein as and when required. Carbohydrate therefore is a non-essential dietary fuel – i.e. we actually don’t need much in our diet.
Secondly, what’s driving the craving?
Let’s assume you’ve stabilised your blood sugars but you’re still guiltily reaching for the bowl of pasta or slice of cake! Stop. Before eating the cake, take a moment to think about WHY you’re reaching for it? Is it boredom, tiredness, stress, lack of movement, self care, time outside, the need for comfort etc? Or is there a microbiome imbalance driving the need for simple carbohydrates & create further imbalance? This article, ‘parasites, the silent epidemic‘ might help answer this for you.
When we crave foods, it’s more likely there is a deeper spiritual or emotional need not being met. To help identify this though we need awareness and we can only have awareness if we stop, slow down and take a moment to notice or feel what it is our bodies are really asking for?
Thirdly, is it seasonal?
Through the winter months and the transitioning of the seasons, we can naturally crave more comforting, heartier or starchier foods. It may be that your body needs a few more of these whole foods and complex carbs such as basmati rice, sweet potato, quinoa and other unprocessed, gluten free whole foods. At times women (and our hormones) can especially benefit from adding more of these foods into the day. If this resonates for you, perhaps experiment and see how you feel.
So in summary HOW do we manage cravings?
13 ways to kick the cravings.
The body is complex and there is a lot to consider other than food alone in the production of energy and to curb cravings, (something I go into far more detail in my 21 day foundational program, ‘Get-up & GLOW with Kate‘)
Commonly these 12 ideas make a great difference;
Cravings can infact be an invitation to continue our personal evolution to becoming the best version of ourselves.
Try any one of the above for 2 – 4 days and the cravings will pass. As you nourish your mind and body more deeply, blood sugars will begin to stabilise and your mood improve as your body returns to balance or homeostasis.
Making change and new choices is more enjoyable and successful with community, knowledge and accountability. If you’re looking for a super quick reset grab my free copy of A Gentle Cleanse and register for my upcoming call! Grab it and register here.
Or for more lasting lifestyle unleveling join me in my next round of Get-up and Glow! Where we go into this topic in more detail and create new healthFUL habits for life. We start on the 30th of August for 21 days to inner and outer radiance. It’s our foundational detox program. You can join me through this link!
And, ‘never give up because great things take time’.
Along with the excitement and busyness of this time of year there’s a potential danger ahead!
In fact it might already be ‘weighing’ you down…
Unfortunately those healthier choices you’ve been enjoying and worked hard at, may start to go by the wayside (or is that weighside), leaving you bereft and a few too many kilo’s heavier.
That’s not how you want to start a New Year!
So how in the world do you stay on track while STILL enjoying this special time of year?
… By feeling good.
It’s not about denial or deprivation. No way. It IS about how you FEEL about your choices, and, feeling good within yourself.
You might be thinking, ‘hmmm… easier said than done!’
It’s true but my 12 simple tactics make it easily said and done.
1. Rather than do … be.
Rather than busily or distractedly eating and drinking try being more in the moment e.g. sipping your drink slowly, chewing mindfully – taste and think about it – challenge yourself to being fully engaged in conversation at the same time.
Being more present and aware means we absorb our food better, feel full quicker and consequently eat less. And most importantly have far more engaging interactions with friends and family – win, win, win.
2. Stay hydrated + Wedge.
If you’re having a drink, remember to wedge in a glass of water in between drinks and remember how good you’re going to feel tomorrow. Stay well hydrated with good quality water – always.
3. Fuel up.
When you’re going out take time to fuel up with good wholesome food throughout the day or prior to going out. You’ll be less hungry and won’t feel the need to fill up on foods you know don’t work for you. And you’re going to feel good the next day. For lots of quick snacks and great ideas visit my website https://www.katebarnes.com.au
4. Stock the pantry.
You’ll be on the go, shopping for holidays and festivities, finishing up work commitments and going out. Keep the pantry, fridge and freezer stocked with essentials so you can create healthy food choices quickly and easily.
5. Commit to activities that make you feel good first thing in the morning.
When we do this we immediately put our mind in the right space and feel more in control, making good choices easier.
Other choices that will lift our vibe and strengthen our mind;
6. Resting or napping.
7. Getting quality sleep.
8. Spending time outside and in the sunshine.
9. Guarding time.
Time is our most valuable asset especially at this time of year, question choices. Do we really need to attend that event? or go shopping at that time? clean those windows now? Question your choices, say ‘no thank you’ when you can, we understand.
If you feel your body is going to need a vitality boost there are a couple of supplements that can help manage stress and deplete when we’re busy e.g. a good quality magnesium, b vitamins, vitamin c or msm (natural sulphur). Always check with your health practitioner before supplementing.
Using essential oils such as frankincense, vetiver and serenity can also be great for getting us out of our busy minds and into our bodies.
11. Stressing less.
Then if sticking to ‘the plan’ is stressing you then please try not to. It’s so much more important to thoroughly enjoy the choices you make and the special time you have catching up with family and friends.
No guilt or regret – those feelings are worse than that bowl of christmas pud or that extra glass of champers!
When we’re busy it’s easy not to. However it’s possibly the best and quickest hack to feeling good. Remember to breathe – deeply.
It’s easy to neglect these fundamental ‘feel good’ choices when there’s lots on, yet it’s actually the most important time to commit to them.
These simple choices will position your mind in a way that makes it easier to cope with stressors and/or self sabotage when they come to play and in many ways are inevitable at this time of year.
Be prepared and I hope you … feel good!
What one, simple choice that you know is right for you, can you commit to? The one thing that’s non negotiable because it makes you feel good and you’re going to enter the New Year feeling healthy, happy and light – mind and body!