In my last article, Master Your Cravings, (Master Your Cravings) I realized that not only do we have cravings that can wreck havoc on our waistline but also we have habits that help us to hang on to these cravings. This made me take a look at what I do when I get challenged by my cravings that add to the enticement of the craving. What I discovered is that there are certain habits that naturally fall in line with our cravings. So what I decided to do is to discuss how you can get rid of these bad habits that may be keeping you hostage to your cravings.
How many of you fall into this bad habit of Late-Night Snacking? What this actually may mean for you is that you are overtired and are using the “snacking” to keep you awake. Hunger hormones like ghrelin, leptin and cortisol can all be affected by the lack of sleep. If there’s an imbalance it can change your satiety levels, causing you to crave carbs. Or hey, you just might be bored at night or looking to reward yourself after folding laundry or you feel you should have a treat as you watch your favorite TV show. I discovered that this was a major issue with many of those that I work with however most people were unaware that they even did this or why they did it.
To curb this bad habit is that when you feel yourself getting tired go straight to bed. If you truly can’t fall asleep, create distractions that don’t involve food. Try playing with your pet or doing something that keeps your hands busy. If you absolutely must have a late night snack try, warm unsweetened almond milk with a little cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. To rewire your brain pathway to eliminate this bad habit make your breakfast to set yourself up for success before bed. Having a morning meal with at least 35 grams of protein may lead to less snacking on high-fat foods at nighttime, compared with starting the day with a low-protein breakfast, like cereal or skipping it altogether.
The other bad habit that seems to be a major problem for people is what I like to call “ Bad Days” or “Pig Out Days.” There are reasons for this. When you eat comfort foods, you get a boost of serotonin and dopamine, feel-good neurotransmitters that act like antidepressants. To curb this bad habit simply do something like order healthy takeout. You can call ahead to your go-to sushi spot and grab it on your way home. It ‘ll feel like a pick me up and help you to control what you’re eating. To rewire the brain pathway for this bad habit remember that your food is medicine and should be treated as so. Instead of eating something, change your clothes right away and go for a jog or do yoga. Or take a hot bath and sip a glass of your favorite healthy beverage while you get lost in a good book or podcast.
Lastly, if you must submit to a bad habit craving, take the time to make the thing that you are carving, as healthy as possible.
Wishing you peace, wellness & tranquility!
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous
Host of Blissful Living Show