Cravings are probably the main reason that those who struggle so hard to control their weight, struggle. I can remember having cravings so bad that I felt like if I could not have the desired food, I would just crack up. Trying to lose weight or even maintain a loss put me in a constant state of anxiety. Life was miserable and weight control was a roll of the dice based on my tolerance to the misery. This had been the way I perceived life for a long time.
My mother put me on my first diet at age 4 and this constant state of war was all that I knew until David’s Way. That is the truth. I had been at my weight goal for a couple of years when I began David’s Way, but the goal was too high. I was on 3 medications trying to help me grasp some shred of stability. Blood pressure medicine was becoming a daily thing and sleep eluded me. I was unhappy and quite often in physical pain. There was a demon at work in my mind and body that David’s Way exorcised. That demon’s name is “Sugar”. As soon as I set about to lose 20 pounds below my previous weight goal, I abandoned sugar for good. Guess what. I also abandoned the medications. I also abandoned a life that was killing me because my brain fog cleared up enough that I could think. I also quite hurting because inflammation just subsided almost instantly. I can’t say what this eating plan will do for you but this is what it has done for me. The question is, why? Let’s see if we can uncover some of those answers to that question.
Food cravings are caused by the same parts of the brain that give us our memories and our sensations of pleasure and reward. While there is not a definite answer to how, we do know that this part of the brain is involved so immediately we see that there is most likely an emotional as well as a physical element to these intense desires. This part of the brain is active when we are in survival mode. If we realize that the emotional component is a powerful motivator to seek out excess calories then we have something to work with to sidestep some of these cravings. Find something else that is satisfying! While you may still have an impression of sweet and salty floating around in your head, if you are content with your present circumstances you will not as readily believe that those cookies and chips are the answer to world hunger and wars. I love outdoors activities and I don’t crave anything except rest and protein after three hours on the trail.
Sugar lights up this part of the brain. It is a source of quick calories and a burst of energy so if we have thought our way into a funk, sugar seems like an easy out. It will give us that pleasurable rush but at what price? It is known to cause inflammation. Inflammation is known to play a part in the development of heart disease and cancer ( http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/chronic-inflammation ). I think I’ll get my jollies elsewhere.
When this circuit in the brain is activated, there are chemical messengers that tell us to repeat this behavior. This is part of the fight or flight system that keeps us alive so these types of cravings are intense. Satisfying them sets up a cycle of addiction. The only way to stop this cycle is to remove the sugar and replace that pleasurable feeling with something else. To begin with, removing the sugar will feel like we are dying but over time, as we begin to look for something to fill the gap, we are usually forced to create a comfortable, satisfying life because we are not looking to our cure-all to fix everything wrong. The power that this white crystalline powder has is terrifying. Just think about the things that you don’t fix in your life and push aside and just eat another piece of cake because in that moment, everything is fine. The problem is, the problem still. is. Did cake fix it?
I challenge you. Do ONE thing for yourself. If you eat sugar, with your physician’s permission, go 24 hours without it. See what happens and then go another 12. If you can do this, and you can, you can keep going. Then you will realize how much you are depending on this carbohydrate to give you happiness. Is that the happiness that you ultimately want or do you want happiness that is based on your true needs?
“Happiness” that destroys us is not real. It is addiction. Gain control. Get healthy. We are entering a season that is filled with sweet treats. Here at David’s Way we are posting no sugar added and other healthy sweet treats frequently just to help you through this difficult time. Take advantage. Visit often. Let’s enjoy this season together and emerge on the other side a few pounds lighter. It is entirely doable. David and I have both done this at different times in our lives. We practice what we preach. I threw a brand new bag of “Protein Bites” in the garbage this morning because I foolishly didn’t properly read the label before I bought them and they contained added sugar. My health and happiness is worth far more than $5.00. Let’s celebrate this season together in good health. We’ll be with you all the way. ♥ ;-*