I want to tell you about three people I know.
The first is a colleague who is captivated by my presentations at team meetings of a health tip of the week. He recently requested from me an installment around how to manage his junk food cravings. In spite of his attempts to lose weight, and although he knows intellectually he’s not hungry, he finds that the pull of processed food overwhelms his willpower.
Next, take my wife (please). She arrives at each meal as if she’s starving. In the morning, her main motivation to get out of bed is the breakfast sitting on the table. Later, as the clock approaches noon, she becomes distressed and desperate. Dinnertime is often a crisis.
The third person is me. I consume 6-8 meals per week. My meals are high quality protein plus whole foods like avocados, sweet potatoes, and crushed up dark chocolate sprinkled into organic grass-fed yogurt. I finally found a supplier of raw dairy, so I now get regular shipments of raw A2/A2 whole milk, raw goat milk kefir, cheese made from raw cow and goat milk, and butter churned from raw 100% grass-fed cream. I rarely think about my next meal. When I hit day two of a fast, I just cruise.
What’s going on here?
The first thing to understand is that when you eat food that spikes blood sugar, you’ll likely crash a few hours later. Fluctuating glucose levels cause a roller coaster of craving and binging that is not at all fun and difficult to get off.
Solution: Eat food with a low glycemic index.
The second thing to know is that cravings are also caused by an unhealthy gut. An unhealthy gut has 1) a biome overgrown with hostile bacteria and 2) failing integrity of the gut barrier (leaky gut). Emerging evidence suggests that ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” is involved in your body’s attempt to heal an unhealthy gut. If you have digestive distress and excess carbohydrate cravings, at least part of the problem is your digestive system trying to fix itself and repair its lining.
- Stop eating food covered in the herbicide glyphosate (for starters: mass market cereals and conventionally grown produce like strawberries and spinach). The herbicide that kills a broad spectrum of life in the field also destroys the good bacteria and microbes in your gut;
- Repair your gut by consuming beef bone broth which is rich in type III collagen. Once you’ve rebuilt the structure of your intestines, create a healthy gut biome by consuming high fiber foods that act as prebiotics, and fermented foods including kefir that are high in probiotics;
- Eat wild caught fish and crustaceans (lobster, crab, shrimp) as a source of glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid that sustains the health of the gut microbiome and increases the integrity of the intestinal lining;
- Maintain gut health with an overall healthy lifestyle. Nutrients including zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin D help maintain a tight junction between cells in the intestinal lining. Since chronic inflammation can compromise junction integrity, sleep well, reduce stress, and avoid alcohol, sugar, grains, and seed oils.