Presentation on theme: "Managing Your Cravings Going for the 3 Increases: Increase in Health, Increase in Happiness & Increase in Energy Strategies for Success in Weight Management."— Presentation transcript:
1 Managing Your Cravings Going for the 3 Increases: Increase in Health, Increase in Happiness & Increase in EnergyStrategies for Success in Weight ManagementBy: James J. Messina, Ph.D.
2 It starts with the Neurotransmitters Serotonin – triggers cravings for sweetsNPY - triggers a desire for pancakes and waffles in the morningGalanin - triggers cravings to sweet-and-creamy or meat-and-potatoes by mid-afternoonEndorphins – triggers eating desserts pleasurable
3 Eating to boost one’s mood Feel sad, down, disappointed, low…?Carbohydrates: starches, pasta, or sweets, raise levels of serotonin in the brainCarbohydrates boost mood but we need to eat them in moderation!
4 Craving differences between men & women Typically women crave - sugar-fat mixtures: ice cream, chocolate, cookies, pies, doughnuts & cakeTypically men “prefer” protein-fat mixtures - steak, meatloaf, potatoes and gravy, or hamburgers
5 These cravings have existed since the cavepeople… Researchers at Rockefeller University theorize that these are age-old craving differences between men & womenThese cravings were useful in days when:cavemen needed to maintain high levels of muscle mass to huntcavewomen needed to maintain body fat stores in the event of pregnancy
6 Cravings are mood related Women have reported feeling bored, lonely or depressed when they indulged in their desired foodMen associated giving in to cravings with feelings of happiness and relaxation.Less than 40 percent of cravers said they were hungry when they experienced cravings
7 You are born with a “craving” set Each person is born with a unique nerve chemical profile & set of cravingsThis fact is not a license to bingeYou can’t change your genetic makeupYou can coax these neurotransmittersEven small changes in balance of nerve chemicals can have far-reaching effects on your mood, energy levels & appetite
8 PMS and Over Indulging Cravings Cravings amplify during the two weeks prior to a woman’s period, probably because fluctuating estrogen levels have a domino effect on brain chemistry, sending many appetite control chemicals into a tailspinBut overeating sugar, salty or high-fat snack foods, or caffeine will only make PMS symptoms worse
9 Give in to it or let the craving pass Sometimes a craving may pass after about 15 minutesRepeatedly resisting cravings may set you up for bingeingMany dietitians recommend giving in when you’ve got it bad, it takes 100 calories of a craved food to quell the yearning e.g.Eight Nacho chips, 14 Gummi Bears or one fun-size package of M&Ms.
10 Timing of CravingsSkipping breakfast or lunch can cause blood sugar to drop - leading to afternoon cravings3-6 pm is prime time for cravingsNever let more than four hours go by between meals or snacks
11 Chocolate the Most Craved Food Taste of chocolate on the tongue is likely to release endorphins in brain producing euphoric or pleasurable feelingSugar in chocolate may raise Serotonin levels & soothe gloomy mood & relax youCreamy taste of chocolate may soothe need for fat fueled by GalaninAroma of chocolate may affect brain chemistry
12 Nothing curbs chocolate craving but chocolate:for crave-prone times Plan: Late afternoon snack:3 to 4 Hershey’s Kisses, not entire bag or Five dried apricots dipped in chocolate or Slice chocolate angel food cake topped with raspberriesPlan: In the evening snack:Two cups of oranges, bananas & strawberries dipped in 1/4 cup dark chocolate syrup or cup of fat-free chocolate cocoa
13 Steps to control cravings: 1. Listen to your cravings They’re telling you somethingCravings for sweets are an unconscious effort to raise Serotonin or NPY levelsDesire for creamy or fatty foods ice cream to steak may be a basic need to satisfy Galanin or Endorphin levels
14 Steps to control cravings: 1. Listen to your cravings Willpower won’t work with these powerful brain chemicals, so work with them instead, by using nutritious foods to calm cravings and boost moodIf mid-afternoon you crave something sweet, turn to fig bars, graham crackers with peanut butter, air-popped popcorn, or a raisin bagel with all-fruit jam
15 Steps to control cravings: 2. Cut back on sugar and caffeine These quick-fix solutions only amplify or aggravate cravings in the long run
16 Steps to control cravings: 3. Give in to it If the craving doesn’t go awayEat the desired food instead of stuffing yourself with everything but kitchen sinkStop short of a bingeBuy single-serve food packagesServe a reasonable portion and eat it outside of the kitchen
17 Steps to control cravings: 4. Create a ritual Make eating treats specialInstead of eating a half-gallon of ice cream in front of the freezer, spoon some into a nice bowl, sit in your favorite chair, eat slowly and savor each bite
18 Steps to control cravings: 5. Exercise People who exercise report fewer cravings than non-exercisers due in part to the mood altering Endorphins released during physical activityExercisers tend to feel more in control of their bodies & may be less likely to binge