Do you feel like sometimes you could just eat and eat and eat and it would never be enough?
I was once a slave to my cravings… for chocolate, cakes and biscuits, bread slathered with peanut butter and honey, pastries, cheese, meat, cups of tea, alcohol, basically any calorie dense food.
But since I’ve discovered the three basic reasons for my cravings, and have put certain protocols in place around my food, my cravings have finally disappeared.
The three major reasons for cravings are calories, volume and nutrients and understanding these three underlying factors will bless you with freedom from cravings beyond your wildest dreams…
#1 – Calories If you think about it, it makes sense that our bodies are built for survival and that we are designed to go for calorie dense foods to keep us alive in lean times.
Problem is that, in the western world we have a readily available supply of fatty, salty and sugary, calorie-dense foods, and this frequently gets us into trouble.
So how can we make sure that we’re eating enough calories to satisfy our need for macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats) without over doing it? Enter sweet fruits…
Compared to meat, dairy and grains, fruits are low in calories, but provided you eat enough you’ll be getting enough carbohydrates and glucose to meet your cellular requirements for energy.
The brilliant thing about sweet fruits is that they are very low in fat, which means that the glucose will be able to travel easily and effectively around your body, to feed your trillions of cells, without bogging you down with loads of fat.
When your cells are nourished your satiety signals will begin to be triggered, resulting in no more cravings.
#3 – Volume This one goes hand in hand with calories. If you mostly eat high-calorie but low volume foods like cakes and pastries, processed cereals, nuts, meat and dairy, you’ll pretty soon feel hungry again.
This is because your satiety switches for volume have not been turned on.
The only way to do this is to eat a certain volume of food.
Problem is, if you eat 10 or 20 croissants to fill you up, you’ll soon shape up to be the size of a bus, and you’d probably still feel hungry…
The trick is to eat loads of low calorie, fibre rich foods.
Raw fruits and vegetables are the best choice, fitting the bill perfectly: Low calorie, water and fibre rich, sweet and salty to the palate, depending on whether you choose fruit or veg.
#2 – Nutrients Most raw foodists notice fairly quickly that their cravings for refined sugary food disappear early on once they are eating enough sweet fruit.
It’s the salty foods that linger on in their consciousness for a long time after the sugar cravings subside. They eat fruit all day and then there’s a point they reach where they just don’t feel like eating any more fruit and they begin to have cravings for salty foods.
This is a sure sign that you’re not eating enough mineral-rich vegetables in your diet.
These types of cravings were the ones I experienced most frequently early on and I found that as long as I ate enough leafy green vegetables, celery and tomatoes the cravings for salty foods ceased to be an issue.
I also noticed that if I began my day with a green juice or green smoothie that I was less likely to crave salty foods in the late afternoon or evening.
So the answer here is simply getting enough nutrients, particularly minerals into your diet.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’re not eating between 1 and 2 pounds of leafy greens a day then you’re not getting enough minerals.
You may find that after a while you don’t need to eat them every day, but at the beginning of your new lifestyle it’s likely that your mineral reserves will be so depleted that you’ll need to restock them with lots of vegetables.
How to ‘Read’ your cravings…
Below is a rough guide to being able to understand what your cravings are telling you…
If you’re craving chocolate or sweets…. You haven’t eaten enough carbs in the way of sweet fruits.
If you’re craving tea or coffee… You haven’t eaten enough carbs in the way of sweet fruits.
If you’re craving biscuits and cakes… You haven’t eaten enough carbs in the way of sweet fruits.
If you’re craving dense foods like burgers, meat, cheese… You haven’t eaten enough carbs in the way of sweet fruits.
If you’re craving salty foods like potato chips, popcorn… You haven’t eaten enough mineral-rich vegetables.
Conclusion – Who would’ve thought that the answer to killing cravings was so simple? Problem is, it’s so simple it’s frequently overlooked and that’s why it took me around 30 years to work it out.
When I discovered the answer I couldn’t believe how simple it was, and with a few changes to my diet I’ve been able to completely revolutionize the way I feel.
I no longer have to white-knuckle it till my next piece of fruit (most diets severely limit fruit to only 2 pieces a day). I eat freely of as much water and fibre-rich whole, ripe, raw fruits and vegetables and find this entirely satiating. It really is that simple. Try it for yourself…
Anthea Frances is an author, raw food health coach and host of the Raw Life Summit series. Grab a copy of her free Balanced Raw Vegan Nutrition Checklist and start improving your health today!