Think-Feel-Eat Episode #35: Five Ways to Crave Less
Hi! I’m Donna Reish, IF teacher, weight loss coach, blogger, and half of “The Minus 220 Pound Pair” as my husband and I have lost over 220 pounds together (160 of that in the past couple of years through the Weight Loss Lifestyle habits and strategies I teach!).
In this episode, I present five ways to reduce cravings!
In weight loss, we have a tendency to focus a lot on how to handle cravings. We have tricks and tips and techniques that we automatically turn to when we are having cravings or urges for foods that are not on our protocol or that do not lead to weight loss or weight management.
(I have ten ways to sit with urges in a previous TFE #9 episode —-)
But we don’t focus as much on what would even be better than “making it through cravings”—reducing our total number of cravings overall.
(It’s like which is better—treating a headache with pain reliever or realizing you just need to wear glasses so you don’t have the headaches anymore!)
In today’s episode, I present five ways we can reduce our urges and cravings!
Remarkable. I honestly never knew this was possible.
Here are the five things I have found that directly affect my cravings:
1) Decide Food Ahead of Time (See TFE 22!)
2) Substitute foods on protocol for highly palatable foods
3) Make simpler foods
4) Stretch out the instances of hyper-palatable/six seductive cravings types of foods
I hope you will listen or watch the episode to change your cravings! (I have a detailed outline with the info from the sleep studies especially.)
Find all of my episodes, outlines, and articles for my two weekly broadcasts:
(1) Weight Loss Lifestyle broadcast (formerly Donna’s Intermittent Fasting Broadcast)
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Think Feel Eat 35: Five Ways to Crave Less
A. Five Ways!
1. Decide Ahead of Time
a. Write down the night before or the morning of exactly what you will eat for the entire day
b. Don’t write down too little, things you won’t eat, etc.
c. This builds self-integrity
d. Causes us to have food/meals to look forward to/fall back on: “I don’t need this snack right now because at XXX I am having XXX.”
e. TFE Episode 32: More of the First Four
f. Free Daily Decide Ahead of Time Journal Sheet
g. Self Integrity: TFE 19 and TFE 20
2. Substitute foods on your protocol (hopefully less caloric) that do not spike dopamine like 6 Seductive Craving Foods Do
b. Don’t just think of calories or carbs or fat grams—think of what each food does to you in terms of cravings
c. Create a Protocol: TFE 16, 17, and 18
3. Make simple foods
a. Fewer seductive cravings
b. Will start to gain a taste for simple foods
c. Easier, less expensive, more routine (not so elaborate)
i. Fills you up
ii. Boosts metabolism by up to 15%
iii. Spares muscle while you instead lose/burn fat
iv. Helps with cravings
4. Stretch out the instances of hyper-palatability/six seductive cravings types of foods
a. Make food rules—I only eat flour/sugar/fat combinations on these days and/or these times and/or these locations and/or these situations
b. As we stretch out these foods, we crave them less and less
c. “The fewer times we eat XX, the fewer times we crave XX.”
d. The Hungry Brain by Dr. Stephen Guynet
e. 80/20 eating must be measurable in order to work
5. Get Plenty of Sleep!
a. Truly need more sleep!
i. 7-9 hours every night
ii. New mantra—not I need more sleep so I’m not so tired or grouchy or fatigued or stressed….but actually making a connection to sleep and food/weight
iii. New mantra: “I need 7.5 hours sleep a night because I can’t stop overeating!”
iv. New mantra: “Sleep helps curb overeating!”
b. New York Obesity Research center of Columbia University study
i. Study basis: five consecutive nights; nine hours in bed for half; four hours in bed for other half; both slept in lab; monitored with polysomnography (electrodes and wires monitoring brain waves and other sleep indicators)
ii. It was a crossover design—meaning each participant did both sides (good for comparing each person against himself and increases validity of study)
iii. 5th day—allowed to eat whatever they wanted for a day as long as research team weighed and recorded everything
iv. Conclusion: Sleep deprived group ate nearly 300 more calories than the rested ones.
v. Conclusion: “…..sleep restriction increases food intake. It’s as simple as that.”
c. Brain studies show insufficient sleep’s detriments on food choices
i. Same study as above from Columbia University also studied effect on food choices
a.) Brain scans showed that sleep restriction increases the brain’s responsiveness to food
b. ) Parts of the brain associated with food reward were more active in sleep-restricted people (which made them choose more calorie dense, junk foods)
6. Sleep deprivation leads to lack of impulse control (and lack of food control)
a. Researchers have found that economically people who are sleep deprived have something called optimism bias—they think things will work out for them more easily and make poor choices in gambling and other financial decisions.
i. One team studied 50 people to see if this optimism bias affected food decisions also
ii. They had them sleep different amounts and observed their snack habits (very controlled at a center).
iii. Sleepier people munched on more calories AND were more likely to eat food they had rated as delicious and unhealthy
iv. The researcher concluded, “When you have inadequate sleep, you’re probably less likely to live in accordance with your own health goals. You’re less likely to get to bed on time, you’re less likely to go to the gym, and you’re less likely to have your eating behaviors align with your long-term health goals.”
b. Similar research shows that one night of total sleep deprivation reduces the food cue responsiveness—in other words, even one night of sleep deprivation can cause us to abandon our healthy food goals!
B. Next Steps
1. It’s not too late to join the Drop 8 Pounds by Christmas challenge!
a. Join at the blog to get all of the email updates and trainings:
c. Watch the short info video here
3. Free Coaching Consult Call!