Mastering Food Cravings
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Although you are subject to intense food cravings, you must understand that you can make food choices that will significantly reduce or eliminate these cravings before they strike. You must also understand that when you crave a food, what you may really be craving is certain brain-body chemicals, (or even just a simple rest). In other words, your brain-body is so finely tuned that when it needs dopamine, endorphins, glucose, or serotonin, it will guide you to those foods, chemicals, or situations that will provide a boost in those chemicals–even if those foods, chemicals, or situations have long term negative effects. Your brain sends out a craving signal that it wants you to eat a particular food, and it wants you to it eat NOW!
You can prevent these cravings by keeping your brain-body chemistry in balance. In order to do this, you need to choose the appropriate kinds of foods for meals and snacks. I also recommend taking a vitamin-mineral supplement to ensure that your brain has the appropriate level of these micronutrients.
My eating plan will require you to make some major changes in the way you think about eating. If you’re used to eating cereal for breakfast, a bagel for lunch and pasta for dinner, you will plan some new meals. You will also be breaking your addiction to coffee and chocolate. In fact, that’s the point of this eating plan: to break your addiction to foods that are known to be slow poisons. You may not feel great during the 2-7 days (depending on the strength of your addictions) after adopting this plan. (After all, you’re going to be denying your body the foods that it craves the most.) These first few days will be the hardest. In a few weeks your body will have adjusted to your new eating habits, you will feel great and you will continue improving. You’ll have more energy, and you’ll feel more cheerful throughout the day. You will notice a subtle but amazing independence from your food cravings, and you will understand those people who can just stop eating when they are no longer hungry. You will also notice your mood and energy improving.
You don’t have to limit your portion sizes. You don’t have to count calories or fat grams. You won’t weigh yourself every week. (In fact, I don’t even want you to use a scale at all.) You won’t walk away from a meal feeling hungry or deprived. Your body will begin to crave a nutritious well balanced diet instead of cookies and crackers. You’ll find that the pounds will come off naturally without you needing to make a conscious effort to lose weight.
The antidepressant eating plan is meant to be used in conjunction with an exercise plan (see my book, The Anti-depressant Survival Guide). These two components go together to help you change your body — its proportions, weight, and muscle tone. On the nutrition plan, you’ll naturally eat fewer calories, and on the exercise plan, you’ll be burning off more calories, and reducing appetite. The two plans work together to help you to strengthen muscle, which will boost your metabolism and help you reshape your body back to its youthful proportions.