Q: What foods do you crave?
“Mine would be a square of dark chocolate after dinner- here’s my problem – I don’t keep it in the house because a square can become half a bar. Suggestions?”
A: There is only one reason that you can’t resist overeating a food!
LOW BLOOD SUGAR! Don’t believe it?
Low blood sugar is a reaction to:
- not giving the body enough calories to keep its blood sugar stable or,
- forcing the body to make its own blood sugar from low carb/high fat or protein fuel sources.
Your body needs calories in the form of blood sugar to survive. When it has enough, you don’t crave ANYTHING! When your blood sugar is stable, you will have full control over eating one piece of chocolate, a couple of chips, or a glass of wine. Problems arise when evening comes, you are short a few hundred calories (without realizing it) and you eat one, JUST ONE piece of chocolate. The body’s response? A positive one (or more like a blissful one, right?). If your body wasn’t so sensitive to the quick burst of feeling better, you wouldn’t be so susceptible to wanting another piece. It’s the body’s instant gratification that is driving you to have another.
Eating low carb at dinner also causes low blood sugar because your body has to work so hard to digest food. A whole 10% of your daily calories goes to digestion. It’s called Thermogenesis. It’s often why we crave sweets after a big dinner even though we have had sufficient calories. It’s why teenage boys will return to the kitchen and eat a bowl of cereal after a three-course meal.
Here’s a couple of tricks:
- Add a few extra calories to your day before dinner. For ex. a 1/4 of a cup of nuts or seeds, hummus with some veggies, one piece of chocolate or cheese when you stop to have a drink KNOWING that you are still going to have some chocolate every night with dinner.
- Make sure you include enough carbs in your dinner to cover the blood sugar your body will need to digest all those dinner calories.
It’s truly a cause and effect situation. You stabilize your blood sugar and you will never crave more than a normal serving of any food again!