A teacher of mine once said something about weight loss and cravings that resonates with me to this day. She said that if someone is experiencing cravings, chances are, they ARE craving something. Chances are also good that it is not ice cream or donuts however! I’ve thought about this a lot over the years and did some research and investigation. Thinking about it, the body knows when it needs something and lets us know. It tells us when we are thirsty, when we need rest, and even gives us signals to let us know that we should alter what or how we are doing something (like pain or even emotions). So why should cravings be any different. They are not. They are not something to be ignored or overcome with “willpower”. That will eventually fail, the body is too insistent and the signals will wear anyone down given time.
So what is it that the body really needs. Maybe minerals such as iodine or salt. As a nation, we are very deficient in iodine, and I see this every day in my clinic with patients who have under active thyroid function. We have been scared away from using salt and while table salt is a chemically derived nightmare, pink Himalayan sea salt is a wonderfully nourishing mineral that we NEED. Oh, and it also contains iodine, go figure! Fat is a nutrient that we have also been bludgeoned into thinking is bad for us. Our bodies have been dealing with fat nutritionally for tens of thousands of years. It is not new, unlike the abundance of sugar and refined carbohydrates that we have substituted for the fat that we removed from our diets! You need fat (fat does not make you fat) and if you do not get enough in your diet, guess what? Your body is going to let you know. This nonsense of pulling the skin off of your chicken or taking the fat out of milk/yogurt/cheese is just that nonsense! Do you think our ancestors did this? NO, they ate the skin, the gristle, the heart, the liver, the kidneys and even broke the bones open to get to the marrow. And you know what? Our bodies need those nutrients as well. If you can’t stomach eating some of these things, you can easily supplement and give your body what it requires. In my research, I came across an interesting table from a natural cancer clinic that has a table for what you may actually be craving, when you have cravings. Food Craving Chart.
So what your body is looking for to properly perform its metabolic functions may be missing and cause you to crave certain foods. Altering your diet and/or supplementing for what may be missing is a great way to reduce or eliminate cravings. Some cravings can be due to stress as I outlined in my last blog post Stress, Acupuncture, & Weight Loss. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can greatly reduce stress, eliminating another craving trigger. Acupuncture has also demonstrated an ability to reduce cravings and is used in recovery clinics and smoking cessation programs. The cravings associated with weight loss are often coming from the same place as some addictions.
At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, when we are helping people with weight challenges, we look at all areas of their lives that may contribute to weight gain or an inability to lose and keep weight off. A comprehensive plan, including diet and proper exercise, tailored to your individual needs, is the best solution to lasting results.
Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!