Weight Loss Program - Food Craving

Many of our patients tell us they struggle with food cravings, particularly carbohydrate cravings. We have outlined a number of potential causes. Perhaps one of the primary causes are habit and/or food addiction. Food addictions and therefore food cravings may manifest in the form of headaches, sleeplessness, irritability, mood swings, and depression. These symptoms are relieved TEMPORARILY by eating the foods you are craving. The most commonly craved foods (in general) are processed carbohydrates. Processed carbohydrates have the ability to change the brains neuro-chemistry by increasing serotonin, one of the chemicals that gives us a sense of pleasure. The most common prescription drugs used to treat depression are serotonin-modifying drugs.

Our providers suggest the following in dealing with food addictions:

  • Identify and then eliminate suspected foods that may be addictive
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Avoid stimulants (caffeine, tobacco, diet aids, etc.)
  • Exercise daily
  • Get plenty of sleep

If you experience a food craving, we recommend one of the following interventions to help you overcome them:

  • Brush your teeth and gargle with Listerine
  • Distract yourself with a brisk walk or jog
  • Exercise!
  • Drink a large 12 oz. glass of water (Many times thirst is mistaken for hunger)

By implementing these strategies and by following our prescribed eating plans, you will note that food cravings will become less intense and eventually fade away.

What Can I Do To Eliminate The Nighttime "Munchies?"

Individuals who have established long habits and patterns of carbohydrate loading in the evening (a nighttime snack of ice cream, cake, cookies, etc.) sometimes have a washout period where they are overcoming those nighttime cravings. We encourage these individuals to purchase sugar-free Jell-O and/or sugar-free Metamucil. Sugar-free Jell-O is a nice way to feed the sweet tooth while minimizing carbohydrate intake and calorie loads. And, orange or strawberry flavored sugar-free Metamucil is also a filling night- time snack while satisfying a temporary sweet tooth. We encourage you to try some of these tricks to minimize carbohydrate intake late in the evening. The way we design the eating plan, when followed to a tee, will also assist in reducing nighttime munchies.This is not a starvation diet, and most patients say they feel satisfied throughout the day.