by Adrian Harper
Last week I talked about cereals and how much of a problem they can cause with health. I feel this is down to the high processing and high sugar content of the cereal. Today a topic a lot of people suffer with is cravings and cravings for sugar in particular(how often do we crave a bag of spinach!!). We all get the urge for something sweet, it’s normal, it is 2012 after all! But is there a reason why you may be craving sugar excessively?
To be the best Personal Trainer or Health Care Practitioner requires a lot of things including many hours of learning. We have over the past 2-3 years especially put a huge effort into learning from the very best in the business, by getting certified by them, doing internships, attending seminars from the creme de la creme in world health and fitness, people like Charles Poliquin, Dr Eric Serrano, Dr John Berardi and Phil Richards amongst others. We now have the answers to deal with many health problems which include todays topic – sugar cravings. A lot of the information is only available to a small number of the elite health and fitness professionals throughout the world and will not always be on a google search.
I find most people who have sugar cravings have three major reasons why they do so :
1. High stress levels are a major problem in Ireland with the number of people out of work at present. If you cannot cope well with the stress of day to day life and your cortisol(the stress hormone) is always high you will opt for comfort foods over health foods – this will lead to you storing fat around your mid section in particular. I aim to talk more on this subject in future blogs and if you would like me to then please comment below.
2. Poor sleeping patterns can wreak havoc on your body. I could talk all day about the benefits of sleep and how important it is for health. You dont feel like having a head of brocoli after a night of uninterupted or inadequate sleep do you? Its common, and this ties in with point 1 we reach for poor foods during times of stress(bad sleep causes stress). Managing your sleeping problems can be difficult but there are many relaxation techniques, herbal teas and natural supplements that can help you achieve proper sleeping patterns.
3. They overly restrict calories by cutting out nearly all carbs without replacing them and dont understand or have not been told the science of how to deal with such a diet and what nutrients are needed. If you take something away from someone you need to give something back. Following this type of eating pattern can be extremly dangerous if you do not understand the nutrients your body needs to function optimally or when is the best time to eat carbohydrates which when eaten at the right times can be highly beneficial. The problem is the drastic reduction in calories which is not being replaced sends the body into starvation mode. People who follow this type of eating pattern will lose weight initially but most if not all will binge on high sugar foods at some stage and “fall of the wagon completly” and generally stop training for long periods of time. Educating clients as a Personal Trainer is essential and I feel a lot of people are being mis lead by the internet now with a lot of fad diets promising this and that.
This is just 3 of the common problems which I have dealt with in the past that i have found to affect sugar cravings – there are many more causes of sugar cravings but I’m sure if you suffer from them if you address the above 3 your cravings will be much less if not gone. There are a number of other tips and tricks we have picked up from various health professionals. I will list 5 below
1. Get to bed before 11 pm and aim for 8 hours sleep each night
2. Increase Fibre, Veg(Green especially) and Protein intake
3. When a carb craving strikes mix 2-10 grams of glutamine with 10 ounces of organic/heavy cream. This we picked up from Charles Poliquin and has worked well for many clients.
4. Eat or drink something bitter!
5. Take a high quality Fish Oil and Magnesium supplement
No more sugar!!