Are You Triggering Your Cravings Without Knowing It?

Most people find that cutting out processed foods, sweet treats and sugary drinks causes a massive decrease in cravings once the initial withdrawal phase passes.  This phase can take a few days to  a couple of weeks depending on how addicted you were.

But there are some foods that cause cravings to continue if you’re consuming them. And sometimes, those foods are ones you wouldn’t suspect.

I’ve listed some of the common culprits below.  How many of them are you still eating on a regular basis?

Cutting down on the use of these products and foods or even cutting them out altogether if you’re trying to lose weight will help with cravings and, therefore, help you to stay on track with your fat loss and healthy eating plan.

Dried Fruit – is notorious for causing ongoing cravings due to its high sugar content

Nuts and Seeds – while these have many health benefits, over-consumption not only usually causes overall calorie intake to be too high, they can cause cravings as well.

Despite having some health benefits, dried fruit should be avoided and nuts consumed with care
Despite having some health benefits, dried fruit should be avoided and nuts consumed with care

Dried fruit and nuts can also be combined to make yummy sweet treats that we can kid ourselves are okay to eat freely even if we are consciously trying to lose body fat.  The extremely high sugar and fat content of these treats, combined with the delicious ‘I want more’ taste is a recipe for causing more cravings and for binge eating.  Including binge eating other not so healthy treats as well.

Diet Drinks  are a major cause of binge eating and cravings.  Unfortunately, the lack of calories is irrelevant because the sweet ‘taste’ is what is causing cravings in this example.  The insulin response in your body starts when you consume any food, particularly sweet foods.  And by ‘consume’ I mean, when you are tasting it in your mouth.

There is some evidence that the thought of eating some sweet foods can start the insulin response too, but till that is proven, we will only think of that as a possibility, not fact.

So despite the fact that these foods have little or no calories, avoid them if you’re trying to lose weight.  In fact, I’d avoid them all together anyway.

Avoid diet drinks at all times
Avoid diet drinks at all times

Diet, No Fat, Low Fat, Reduced Fat Etc Products are a recipe for disaster on several levels.

Firstly, they often are loaded up with extra sugar or other additives to make them taste better – as above, a recipe for binge eating and cravings.

Secondly, often people eat more of these foods because the don’t feel guilty doing so.  This can cause binging and cravings for other sweet or salty foods as well as a tendency to overeat the diet foods themselves.

Thirdly, diet products often do not satisfy you fully.  When fat is removed from real foods, such as cheese or dairy products, they do not have the same taste, mouth feel or satiety as the original foods.  This means that usually, you’ll either still be hungry or you will have cravings for more food to feel satisfied.

Protein, Breakfast, Low Carb, Sugar-Free, Natural or any other BARS  should be avoided for the most part.

I used to consume protein bars after training thinking I was doing the right thing.  But after experimenting, I found that the bars were causing me to crave sugar and I’d often find myself eating more than one or eating more sweet food in an effort to feel satisfied.

Pretty much all bars including 'nature' should be avoided.  Eat real food instead
Pretty much all bars including ‘nature’ should be avoided. Eat real food instead

People also often kid themselves that they can eat these often because of the low calorie content, the perceived nutritional value or the fact that the marketing promises certain outcomes from eating them (such as muscle building, fat loss etc)  Convenience is also a factor in the consumption of bars on a regular basis.

How many of the above foods/products are you eating?  Starting today, replace them with real fresh food and water and watch your cravings disappear.